Pan-Seared Diver Scallops with Thyme Butter

Photo by Jennifer Hitchcock

“I always plan out each dish very carefully, thinking of ways for food to be fun in your mouth and how flavors and textures work together as a whole. The wine simply becomes another ingredient in the dish. I consider this when I am pairing, but in general too—especially since most of my dishes have wine in them!”—Chef Bob Waggoner, Watermark Restaurant, Nashville

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2 servings

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ leek, sliced thin and rinsed under cold water
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large diver scallops
  • 1 shallot, chopped fine
  • 1 cup Pinot Noir
  • 2 branches fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 12 chive tips
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  1. In a small 10-inch pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and add leeks. Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, then add ¾ cup water and cook slowly for another 5 minutes until leeks are tender and water has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In another pan, heat olive oil until almost smoking. Salt and pepper each side of the scallops, then sear them for 1½ minutes per side in oil.
  3. Remove scallops and lower heat. Add shallots and red wine and reduce slowly to 2 tablespoons of liquid. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter over low heat to emulsify into the wine reduction. Add fresh thyme to wine. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Heat the seared scallops in a 400-degree oven for two minutes. Place half the leeks in the bottom of two soup bowls with hot scallops on top. Spoon some red wine thyme butter over the scallops. Garnish with chive tips.

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