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.
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!
- 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 12 each scallops 15/pound size or larger
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- Pat scallops dry on both sides with a paper towel.
- 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.
- Remove scallops to a plate and cover with foil.
- 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.
- 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.
- Arrange scallops on a platter or serving dishes and drizzle each with a tablespoon of sauce. Serve immediately.
-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.