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seared scallops with tarragon-butter sauce


Beurre blanc—the classic French butter sauce—is a cinch to prepare and has a tendency to make just about anything taste better. This take on it uses the scallops' juices to add complexity.

Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 20 min

Servings: Makes 4 servings

seared scallops with tarragon-butter sauce

Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds large sea scallops, tough ligament from side of each discarded
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon

Directions

Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (total).

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sear scallops, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a platter.

Add shallot, wine, and vinegar to skillet and boil, scraping up brown bits, until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Add juices from platter and if necessary boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Reduce heat to low and add 3 tablespoons butter, stirring until almost melted, then add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and swirl until incorporated and sauce has a creamy consistency. Stir in tarragon and salt to taste; pour sauce over scallops.