Scallops with Porcini Mushrooms
Deceptively simple, this dish depends upon perfect ingredients and good quality, not too dry white wine. Very lightly browned scallops and porcini mushrooms are napped with a butter sauce laced with the wine, soy sauce, and lemon. If the scallops you buy are exceptionally large, buy half as many and divide each in half before cooking.
- Sea Scallops - 16, large
- Porcini Mushrooms - 1/2 pound fresh (alt. similar mushrooms)
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Beurre blanc (recipe follows) - 1 cup
- White Wine - 1 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Lemon - 1/2
- Chervil - 4 small sprigs
Wash and slice the mushrooms. Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. Lightly butter a heatproof plate or pan. Remove the scallops from their shells if necessary and clean them, then set aside on the buttered plate. Place the scallops in the oven and place a pan of hot unsalted water on the rack beneath them for moisture. Cook 3 to 4 minutes; check to see if they are done. They should be slightly firmed, and opaque throughout.
While the scallops are cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat and cook the mushrooms until they begin to turn golden. Drain, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Keep warm.
In a sauté pan or small saucepan, combine the beurre blanc, wine, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Adjust to taste, adding more of one or more of these ingredients to suit.
To serve: Place four scallops in each of four serving bowls or deep serving plates. Divide the mushrooms among the plates and place around the scallops. Spoon the sauce over the scallops and mushrooms, creating a pool of sauce in each plate. Garnish each with a chervil sprig.
Makes 1 cup
In a small non-aluminum pan, cook the shallots, white wine vinegar, and white wine over medium-high heat until reduced to about 2 tablespoons of liquid. Reduce the heat to low; season with salt and pepper. Add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking constantly to incorporate the butter and to keep the sauce from getting too hot. When one piece is nearly incorporated, add the next. If drops of liquid butter appear in the sauce, it is too hot; immediately remove from heat and whisk in several pieces of butter off the heat until the sauce cools down. The beurre blanc should thicken slightly as the butter is added. When all the butter has been incorporated, strain if desired. Store in an insulated container to keep it warm without causing the butter to “break” and liquify until ready for use.