Whether you are planning a big night out or a cozy night in, 2018 is headed our way. This year we’re going with the latter and ringing in the new year comfy and cozy at our home. The weather has been in the mid 70’s which means we can eat out back on the patio and enjoy the beautiful desert mountain views and tranquility (well, as much tranquility as you can get with two kids under 4 years old).
If you have been searching high and low for the perfect dish to prepare for your New Years Eve dinner than search no more, prepare to be blown away. I always like to jazz up my meals for special occasions and holidays. New Years Eve is definitely an exciting holiday, so it requires an exciting dish full of wow factor! Ready?
Buttery seared scallops atop a bed of fresh mushroom risotto, in a sherry cream sauce.
BAM. Mind blown? The scallops develop this beautiful golden crust on each side, so its buttery soft in the middle with a salty crispness on the edges. The risotto has fresh mushrooms in it and it gives it a gorgeous earthy yet creamy taste that is just a barely al dente bite, pairing it with the scallops enveloped in the creamy sherry sauce is a true delight. The sauce is both rich and tangy and totally transforms the meal to an elegant level.
The best part about this is that it’s a lot easier to prepare than it sounds! I’ll go through step-by-step giving you tips along the way to help you create the most mouth watering seared scallops.
Lets get started.
Pat dry your scallops with paper towels, you’ll want to remove as much moisture as possible. Moisture is your enemy. Generously season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. The salt helps you get the crisp crust you’ll want so don’t get stingy. My favorite salt to use? Kosher salt for all cooking! If you don’t use it, take my word and start. Grab a pan, and set your heat to high so that it’s smoking a bit. If your pan isn’t hot enough you can kiss that gorgeous crust goodbye. Don’t worry you won’t burn your scallops. Add 1 tbsp of oil (no more or your scallops could get goopy). Place the scallops in your pan in a “clock formation”, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 and so on until your pan is filled. This gives each scallop enough room to cook without overcrowding. You’ll also be able to remember which scallop you placed first, it will be the one you’ll want to turn over first.
After 3 minutes you should have a nice golden bottom, start flipping your scallops and time it another 3 minutes.
Once this is done add a pat of butter to the pan and using a spoon ladle spoonfuls of butter on to each one, do this no more than 1 minute.
Transfer scallops to a plate, don’t worry if they start to cool down, but I like to keep my plate on an unused burner on the stove top so they’ll stay warm.
Turn heat off or you could have a giant POOF of fire. Add 1 cup of sherry (just regular cooking sherry but feel free to get as fancy as you’d like) to the pan. Turn heat back on and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, this will cook off the alcohol content. All those leftover bits in the pan from the scallops will add so much flavor to your sauce!
Add in 2 tbsp of butter and 1 cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil then simmer until the sauce has reduced half of it’s original volume. Turn heat to low and add in warm cream. You’ll want the cream to be warm so it doesn’t curdle. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the juices from your plate the scallops are sitting on and some fresh cracked pepper.
When you go to plate get a couple spoonfuls of risotto and make a little “nest” for the scallops, you’ll want it to be flat on top so they don’t tumble off. Place the scallops on top of the risotto and press them down a little to anchor them in. Grab your sherry sauce, use spoonfuls to cover each scallop so it gets some sauce on top, until it fills up the bottom of your bowl. You should still be able to see the top of your rice.
Grab your favorite person to share this dish with and get ready to be transported to total and utter food bliss.
This pairs nicely with a light white wine and if that’s not your thing fill up some glasses with ice, club soda and fresh fruit for a refreshing spin on a glass of water.
Enjoy and Happy New Year friends!
1 lb scallops
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pat (tbsp) butter
salt and pepper
Sherry Cream Sauce Ingredients:
1 c sherry
1 c chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c heavy cream, warmed
Pat scallops dry, getting off as much moisture as possible. Season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat pan on highest heat, add olive oil.
Place scallops in the pan like a clock, starting at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, and so on. Turn scallops after 3 minutes, bottom should be golden brown and a crust should have formed. Cook an additional 3 minutes. Add a pat of butter and spoon hot butter over scallops, no longer than 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Do not discard juices that will appear on plate, save for later.
Turn heat off under pan. Add sherry, turn heat back on to medium/high and whisk vigorously while it boils for 2-3 minutes, this will burn off the alcohol content. Add butt and chicken broth, simmer for 5 minutes until sauce reduces by half. Keep heat at the lowest setting and add in warm cream, simmer for 5 minutes. Add fresh pepper and the juice on the plate from your scallops.
Serve scallops over a bed of mushroom risotto, with the sauce spooned over each scallop to fill the bottom of your bowl.
*Mushroom risotto is from another blog post, you can grab that recipe here