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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      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce

      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce

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      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce is an elevated meal for two and takes only a few quality ingredients and less than 30 minutes to prepare.

       

       

      Tenderloin steak, butter and balsamic vinegar arranged on a wooden board in preparation for Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce

       

      Beef tenderloin steaks can be a bit pricy, even for us here in beef country. But what I really like about beef tenderloin is that it’s a relatively lean cut of beef, it’s super tender and flavourful. It deserves a good sear to hold in the moisture and a generous drizzle of balsamic butter sauce.

       

       

      Butter sauce comes in many forms, like Beurre Blanc-French butter sauce, Piccata sauce and the sauce on my Tarragon Chicken Cutlets

      A butter sauce is quite simple and uber quick to pull off with a little know-how. In any butter sauce, it’s very important to use cold butter cut into small chunks. Cold butter melts more slowly, allowing the fat particles to breakdown and be dispersed throughout other liquids like wine, lemon juice, stock or in this case, balsamic vinegar. Adding butter gradually is equally as important. It allows all the fat particles to become completely emulsified but at a slower rate. This process creates a thicker and more stable sauce. Scientifically it’s a little more involved, but this gives you the idea behind it.  Enjoy!

       

      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce sliced and ready to serve garnished with fresh rosemary.

      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce sliced and ready to serve garnished with fresh rosemary.
      Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 10-15 minutes
        Cook Time
        12-15 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 10-15 minutes
        Cook Time
        12-15 minutes
        Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce sliced and ready to serve garnished with fresh rosemary.
        Steak with Balsamic Butter Sauce
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 10-15 minutes
          Cook Time
          12-15 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 10-15 minutes
          Cook Time
          12-15 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
          2. Add oil to a medium stainless steel skillet and heat on high. When the oil is hot add steaks and cook 4 to 4 1/2 minutes per side for medium-rare, flipping only once and getting a good sear on both sides.
          3. Remove steaks to a plate and cover with foil.
          4. Add balsamic vinegar, beef broth and rosemary to the same pan whisking to pick up any beefy bits left behind by the steak. Continue to cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes until sauce is reduced by at least half and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove rosemary sprig.
          5. Turn heat to low and whisk in butter one chunk at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated before adding more. Once all the butter is incorporated remove from heat and adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over steak or on the side as a dipping sauce. Makes about 1/3 cup of sauce.
          Recipe Notes

          Cooking time for steaks will be dependant on size.  The steaks I used were approximately 8 ounces each and 1 1/2 " thick.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          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