Thank you to Shawn from Browne Trading Company for demonstrating a meal fit for our valentines for this week’s demo. He taught us how to shuck oysters (which he topped with Giaveri Osetra caviar!!) and he also made a special meal with what’s in season from the sea. Not only are Maine diver scallops an American classic, but the Gulf of Maine waters produce some of the best. Known for their sweetness and firm texture, hand-harvested Maine sea scallops are special for any menu.
Seared Maine Diver Scallops
8 each Maine Scallops (or however many you may want)
Salt for Seasoning
Oil for Searing
Pan for Searing
Heat the pan on your stovetop using the “high” setting. Once it seems hot, add enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Lower heat to about medium or medium-high. You want the oil to smoke a little but just barely. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and lightly season with salt. Take the pan off the heat and slowly add the scallops. Be careful not to crowd the pan or the scallops will steam and you will not get a nice sear. You want to cook the scallops about 80 percent on the seared side. Once you have a good sear flip the scallops and let cook slightly. Pull them off the heat. I personally like my scallops a little undercooked in the center but how much they are cooked through is up to your discretion. If you really want to take the scallops to the next level then when you flip them add a tab of butter and let the scallops roll around in the butter for a limited time. Butter makes everything better!
1 cup Arborio Rice
1-5 Cloves of Garlic (Depends on how much garlic you want slash how long you have been with your SO)
2 Quarts Chicken Stock (Any stock can be subbed, you could even use water)
2-10 threads of Saffron (Depending on how much saffron you enjoy or how much color you want)
1-2 Cups of White Wine (If you don’t like wine in your recipe then don’t)
Rondo or Large Shallow Pot
4 Quart Pot
Wooden Spoon or Stirring Implement
Salt for Seasoning
In the 4qt pot add the saffron and stock. Put it on the stovetop and set to “low.” Dice your shallots and garlic. You honestly can cut however you like. Set the pot on the stovetop to “medium” heat. Add the oil, shallots, and garlic. Cook until the alliums are translucent. Throw in the rice and “toast” for about a minute. Then add your wine and cook until “sec” or until the wine is cooked out. Add your stock one ladle at a time. Making sure to stir constantly. This is the most important and tedious part. You should be stirring from anywhere from 15 to 30 min slowly adding your stock. Taste and season as you go. Once the risotto has transformed into your desired consistency and tooth feel turn off the heat add your butter and stir it in. Your risotto should be a beautiful orange color from the saffron.
Now, onto the wine pairing. We’ll want something to live up to the richness of the scallops without completely taking over the taste. These two whites are up to the task.
Calera 2016 Chardonnay | $22.99
The Calera Winery of California’s Central Coast has been responsible for bringing much praise and prestige to the New World wineries. This chardonnay is made from hand harvested grapes and aged without racking in French oak barrels for 10 months. There’s a minerality to this wine, but you’ll also find it to have a taste of lemon zest, passionfruit, green apple, and just a hint of oak.
Domaine Feuillat Juillot Montagny 1er Cru Cuvée Les Grappes D’Or 2016 | $36.99
Françoise Feuillat-Juillot grew up around her famous wine-maker father, Michel Juillot from Mercurey. She has since started her own Domaine and she along with 4 employees manage 14 hectres in Montagny. The Montagny 1er Cru Cuvée Les Grappes D’Or is an award-winning wine with smooth grapefruit notes and a nice zest on the finish. We special order this wine because it’s so remarkable.