Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

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A tarragon infused cream sauce is one of my favourites.  It’s so good on chicken and plump, juicy scallops.  Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce makes a wonderful appetizer, first course or even an entrée served over mashed potatoes.   As with most seafood, the scallops cook in minutes for a quick dish that’s simple to prepare but looks and tastes much more elaborate.  Your guests will be impressed.

Seared scallops in a stainless steel pan resting on a metal trivet in preparation for Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

The key to this dish is to make sure the scallops get a good sear. The sear not only adds depth of flavour but helps to seal in the juices from the scallops. This is achieved by making sure the scallops are dry by patting with a paper towel and also by using a hot pan with hot oil. The other very important thing is not to overcook the scallops.  Overcooked scallops are tough and rubbery and it takes no time at all to go from perfectly cooked to overdone.  So have all your ingredients and equipment ready before you start and be focused on the dish while cooking to ensure they are not only seared properly but cooked for only a couple of minutes per side.  In other words, there’s no room for a bathroom break once those scallops hit the pan.

But don’t be put off by a smidge of fussiness, this dish is very simple and uses the basic technique of deglazing the pan after removing the scallops, adding heavy cream and tarragon and reducing to create a gloriously silky sauce that will have you wanting to lick your plate.  Enjoy!

Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce arranged on a metal platter that sits on a table napkin.

Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce arranged on a metal platter that sits on a table napkin.
Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 appetizers 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    13-15 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 appetizers 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    13-15 minutes
    Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce arranged on a metal platter that sits on a table napkin.
    Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 appetizers 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      13-15 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 appetizers 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      13-15 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: appetizers
      Instructions
      1. Pat scallops dry on both sides with a paper towel.
      2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add scallops and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side depending on size. Flip scallops and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
      3. Remove scallops to a plate and cover with foil.
      4. Over medium-high heat add wine to the pan and whisk to pick up any caramelized bits in the pan. Allow wine to reduce for 2-3 minutes.
      5. Whisk in heavy cream and tarragon and continue to reduce for about 5 minutes until sauce is reduced by half and has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper.
      6. Arrange scallops on a platter or serving dishes and drizzle each with a tablespoon of sauce. Serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      -makes about 3/4 cup of sauce.

      -you can use stainless steel, cast iron or non-stick skillets.  The key to a good sear is having the pan and oil hot and not overcrowding the scallops.

      -also delicious served as a main course over mashed potatoes.

      -makes 4 appetizer servings or 3 main-course servings.

      -using fresh tarragon is a must for this recipe.

       

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      Spicy Miso Shrimp

      Spicy Miso Shrimp

      Spicy Miso Shrimp served in a small decorative skillet on a dark wooden board.

      Dad will love these Spicy Miso Shrimp! They are so simple to make and are laced with garlic, ginger and that wonderful umami flavour that miso brings. They’re the perfect nibble between sips of cold beer on a day that’s meant for him.

      Ingredients for Spicy Miso Shrimp on a dark wooden board.
      Raw shrimp piled high in a small metal dish in preparation for Spicy Miso Shrimp.

      What is miso?

      In the simplest term, miso is a fermented soybean paste. Along with the soybeans, the type of miso is dependent on the other ingredients and the fermentation process used. Although miso is generally made from soybeans it can also be made from a combination of other ingredients such as rice, barley, rye and even chickpeas these days. Miso is generally available in white, red or mixed with red being darker and heavier in flavour. Miso is great in soups, sauces and marinades to name a few.

      Here is a great post from The Spruce Eats on miso and some of its great uses.

      Panfried Spicy Miso Shrimp in a cast iron skillet.
      Spicy Miso Shrimp served in a small decorative skillet on a dark wooden board.

      Want more food that dad will love on Father’s Day?

      Catalina Wings

      Crispy Chicken Sliders with Wasabi Slaw

      Bacon Jam Mozza Burger

      Spicy Miso Shrimp stacked high and skewered by a seafood fork.

      Spicy Miso Shrimp served in a small decorative skillet on a dark wooden board.
      Spicy Miso Shrimp
      Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      4-6 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      4-6 minutes
      Spicy Miso Shrimp served in a small decorative skillet on a dark wooden board.
      Spicy Miso Shrimp
      Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      4-6 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      4-6 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and set aside in a medium bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients except for canola oil. Toss shrimp with paste.
      2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Once hot add shrimp and cook in a single layer. Cook for about 2-2 1/2 minutes per side until the paste starts to caramelize and stick to the shrimp.
      3. Remove shrimp to a serving plate and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro if desired. Serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      If the shrimp are too crowded in the pan they will not brown in the time it takes to cook them.  They only take minutes to cook, so cook in two batches if you do not have a large enough skillet.  Wipe out skillet between batches.

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      Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread

      Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread

      Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread cut into wedges on a wooden cutting board.

      May is National Barbecue Month…

       

      So fire up your grill for this amazing Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread. There’s so much that can be cooked on the barbeque/grill and today I’m gonna tell you how easy it is to grill bread.

      You would normally think that the dough would stick terribly to the grates, however, as the dough cooks and forms a crust on the bottom it pulls away from the grates making it virtually non stick. There is a fine line between perfectly golden and crispy to overdone, so you want to watch it closely. Depending on your grill and heat setting, the first side takes only 5-6 minutes to form that slightly charred crust.

      Fresh ingredients for Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread arranged on a wooden cutting board.

      Tips for grilling bread

       

      1. Grill small portions of bread instead of one large piece. This not only allows for more uniform cooking, but it’s also easier to flatten and move smaller portions to the grill.
      2. Don’t try to make the flatbread perfectly shaped, it just won’t happen! The dough shrinks up and morphs into a shape of its own when you pick it up and move it to the grill. It’s okay to be a little rustic!
      3. Make sure your grill is scraped clean to prevent sticking. A small amount of non-stick spray applied before grilling can also help.
      4. Don’t overcrowd the toppings. The dough is almost cooked when you flip it over, therefore too many toppings will require an excessive amount of time to heat through, causing the dough to overcook.
      5. Have all your toppings ready prior to starting.
      6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favourite toppings, but if you’re aiming for something smothered in melty cheese this type of flatbread is not for you. Too much cheese will not melt in the time it takes the flatbread to cook.
      7. When camping, make the dough at home ahead of time. After the first rise split dough in half, punch down and seal in two medium freezer bags. Place in fridge or freezer to stop the rising process. Allow to come to room temperature and proceed with recipe.

      Grilling is a huge part of our cooking during the summer months, both at home and when we are out camping and overlanding. You can see more of what we do outdoors at Mark Bouliane – YouTube Eating well and having fun with food is important to us, both at home and when travelling in our jeep. Because the grill is our primary cooking source when adventuring outdoors, dishes like Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread only adds to the fun of it all and makes us feel like we aren’t compromising. It’s great at home or anywhere else you happen to grill. Enjoy!

      Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread cut into wedges on a wooden cutting board.
      Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        10 minutes 70-80 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        10 minutes 70-80 minutes
        Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread cut into wedges on a wooden cutting board.
        Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          10 minutes 70-80 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          10 minutes 70-80 minutes
          Ingredients
          Dough
          Flatbread
          Servings: 12x8 flatbreads
          Instructions
          Dough
          1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, honey and yeast. Allow to ferment for 6-8 minutes.
          2. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, olive oil and salt. Begin kneading, allowing all the flour to be absorbed before adding more. Add additional flour gradually until dough is soft, subtle and no longer sticky to the touch, about 8 minutes. The exact amount of flour will vary.
          3. Lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil. Shape dough into a ball and place in bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until double in size, about 1 hour.
          Flatbread
          1. Slice prosciutto into 1/4" strips. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high and cook prosciutto until crisp, stirring often. This will take 8-10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
          2. Preheat grill to medium.
          3. Cut the woody 1-2" off the bottom of the asparagus spears. If they are thick spears, shave the bottoms lightly with a vegetable peeler to make them uniform in width. Rub spears lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
          4. Place asparagus directly on grill against the grain of the grills. Grill for 4-6 minutes until crisp-tender, turning once or twice. Remove from grill and set aside.
          5. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, basil, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cut asparagus into 1" pieces and toss with a drizzle of lemon and oil, saving the remainder for finished flatbread.
          6. Deflate the dough by kneading 3-4 times and divide the dough into two portions. Cover lightly and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. This will help relax the dough and make it easier to flatten. Spread and press one portion out to an approximate 13"x8" rectangle on a flat, movable surface like a cutting board or back of a baking tray.
          7. Peel dough off of surface in one motion if possible and lay on preheated grill. Spread out corners slightly if possible. Close lid and cook for about 5-6 minutes until golden and crisp on the bottom. The time will vary depending on your grill and heat setting. Poke any large air bubbles and flip dough over.
          8. Immediately scatter on half of the asparagus, prosciutto and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan and close the lid. Allow to cook for 3-4 more minutes to warm toppings and finish cooking the dough. Remove to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and lemon juice and serve immediately.
          Recipe Notes

          -The dough will shrink up some when transferred to the grill, there's no stopping this, don't fight it!  I can usually grab and stretch out a couple corners once it is on the grill, but once it's on I don't mess with it much.

           

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Mushroom Gruyere Tart

          Mushroom Gruyere Tart

          Need another meatless option for Lent? This recipe can easily be made without the bacon. Or perhaps you’re looking for an elevated appetizer for Easter, or you simply want a wonderful make-ahead option for other entertaining occasions. This gorgeous Mushroom Gruyere Tart has you covered.  Meaty mushrooms are smothered with cream cheese and herbs, topped with gruyere and baked in a puff pastry shell. 

          It’s a simple yet elegant pastry to add to your table whether as a main course item or appetizer. I quite like it for lunch served with a green salad. It’s one of my personal favourites because it uses everyday ingredients, is easy to prepare and can be made in advance and baked fresh when you’re ready.  It smells amazing when baking and the combination of crispy puff pastry and creamy mushrooms is oh so drool worthy. 

          Love mushrooms? You’ll want to check out these wonderful recipes.

          Mushroom Herb Rice

          Mushroom Lasagna

          Mushroom Bacon Risotto

          A baked Mushroom Gruyere Tart from Compelled to Cook is cut into wedges on a cutting board that is draped with a striped towel and scattered with mushrooms.
          Mushroom Gruyere Tart
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8 appetizer wedges 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            25 minutes 2-3 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            8 appetizer wedges 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            25 minutes 2-3 minutes
            A baked Mushroom Gruyere Tart from Compelled to Cook is cut into wedges on a cutting board that is draped with a striped towel and scattered with mushrooms.
            Mushroom Gruyere Tart
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8 appetizer wedges 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              25 minutes 2-3 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              8 appetizer wedges 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              25 minutes 2-3 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: appetizer wedges
              Instructions
              1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. If using bacon, add to skillet and cook until crisp and fat has rendered. Scoop out the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but a tablespoon of fat.
              2. If not using bacon, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
              3. Add shallot and garlic and sauté, stirring often until starting to soften about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until most of the moisture has cooked out about 8-10 minutes.
              4. Add wine, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until wine has cooked out about 3 minutes.
              5. Stir in cream cheese, 1/2 cup of gruyere and bacon (if using).
              6. Preheat oven to 425℉ and lightly spray a 4 3/4"- 5 3/4" x 14" tart pan with removable bottom. Fit puff pastry into tart pan and trim the top so it is level with the pan. You will need to cut the puff pastry sheet in two pieces to make it fit.
              7. Spread filling evenly into pastry shell and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of grated gruyere. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and filling is bubbly.
              8. Allow tart to rest for a couple of minutes prior to removing the outer pan. Cut into wedges, garnish with fresh thyme and serve immediately.
              Recipe Notes

              The tart can be assembled up to a day in advance and kept covered and chilled until ready to bake.

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              Chili Tortilla Roll Ups

              Chili Tortilla Roll Ups

              Do you love crispy finger food?

              I do!  Chili Tortilla Rolls are perfect for any game day being crispy, cheesy and hearty enough for a gathering of game day fans.  

              These tasty rolls can be made up ahead of time and cooked when you need them for a nice crisp exterior.  Once assembled they also freeze well and will keep in a sealed container for up to a month.  They’re also a great way to use up leftover chili that you might have.  I have included a thick chili to use for these rolls, but any hearty chili can be used. 

              Served with the little extras like guacamole, sour cream and salsa makes them a game day hit. 

              Looking for other finger food snacks?

              Check out these great recipes!

              Catalina Wings

              Buttermilk Ranch Onion Rings

              Jalapeño Rings with Cumin Dip

              Chili Tortilla Roll Ups
              Print Recipe
                Servings
                20 rolls
                Servings
                20 rolls
                Chili Tortilla Roll Ups
                Print Recipe
                  Servings
                  20 rolls
                  Servings
                  20 rolls
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: rolls
                  Instructions
                  1. In a medium pot or dutch oven heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and green pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powders and cumin and continue to cook for 1 minute.
                  2. Add ground beef and cook until beef is browned, stirring occasionally and breaking apart the chunks.
                  3. Stir in remaining ingredients and allow to simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes to meld falvours. Chili should be relatively thick, but add a tablespoon or two of water if needed.
                  4. Place one tortilla shell on a flat surface and spread with approximately 3 tbsp of chili leaving a 1" border around. Top with 1 tbsp of cheese. Moisten the top inch of the tortilla with water. Starting from the bottom, roll tortilla shell up a third of the way. Fold in sides 1 1-1/2" and continue to roll forward, enclosing all the chili in a tubular shape.
                  5. Continue with remaining shells, chili and cheese until all have been rolled.
                  6. Using a 2" skillet or shallow pot, add enough canola oil to come up 1". Heat over medium until hot. Place about 6 chili rolls in hot oil with seam side down (don't overcrowd). Cook for about 2 minutes until golden. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove with tongs to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Cut in half diagonally and serve with guacamole, salsa and sour cream if desired.

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                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard

                  Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard

                  Whether it’s Grey Cup, Super Bowl or simply having pals over to watch fight night, Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard are a man’s dream snack, aside from chicken wings of course. It’s pretty hard not to like battered and fried meat on a stick.  They’re fun and easy to make, and crazy good to eat. 

                  Let me start by saying, these aren’t your typical mini corn dog.  They’re made with cocktail sausages which gives them a meatier texture and better flavour than a regular hot dog.  The cocktail sausages that I used were a double smoked and triple cheese flavour.  Both amazing wrapped up in a cornmeal batter.  I also like the cocktail sausage because they’re a perfect size at 2” long, so there’s no cutting required and it makes them a great two-bite appetizer. 

                  The creamy honey mustard sauce has a subtle tang and a hint of sweetness.  So good, crispy and warm right out of the hot oil and dunked in sauce. No special equipment needed either, just a pot and a thermometer.  I own a deep fryer that has a removable basin for easy clean up, but in reality, nothing cleans up easier than a single pot.  So there’s really no excuse not to make these yummy Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard.  So go on and get your pals over, because this recipe makes about 48 and you’ll want to share.  Enjoy!

                  Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    48 pieces 30 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    30-40 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    48 pieces 30 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    30-40 minutes
                    Mini Cornmeal Sausages with Creamy Honey Mustard
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      48 pieces 30 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      30-40 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      48 pieces 30 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      30-40 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Cornmeal Sausages
                      Creamy Honey Mustard
                      Servings: pieces
                      Instructions
                      Creamy Honey Mustard
                      1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Keep chilled until ready to use.
                      Cornmeal Sausages
                      1. Using a pot or dutch oven, add enough oil to come up at least 3". Clip a high-temperature thermometer to the side of the pot so the tip is submerged but not touching the bottom. Heat oil to 350℉.
                      2. While the oil is heating, skewer the cocktail sausages. Whisk together remaining ingredients for batter until just combined yet smooth. Pour batter into a large, tall glass to aid in dipping sausages. (see note)
                      3. When the oil is hot, dip sausages into batter one at a time, coating completely. Add to hot oil and cook for 2-2 1/2 minutes per side until golden. Repeat with remaining sausages. Depending on the size of your pot, you'll be able to cook 6-8 at a time.
                      4. Remove with tongs to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess fat. Serve immediately with Creamy Honey Mustard.
                      Recipe Notes

                      -use a deep fryer if desired.

                      -I found cocktail sausages at Costco.

                      -pour batter into a large, tall glass to aid in dipping the sausages if desired.  Because they're only 2" long, using a bowl will work fine.

                      -if you want to cook half now and half later in the day to always eat them fresh and crispy, simply cover and refrigerate unused batter and re-whisk prior to using.

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                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com