This dish is basically my riff on a dish we had at a restaurant in Philly that is super amazing and one of our current faves: Serpico. Everything we’ve eaten at this place is FAB-U-LOUS. The restaurant has a cool vibe, too. It’s dark and hip with all-chalkboard walls, located on the infamous South Street. It’s definitely too cool for us, but we love it anyway. We were lucky enough to get seats at the chef’s station. We watched the them create incredible dish after dish less than a foot from our plates for the few hours we were there. Very cool experience. Highly recommend!
Anyway. This dish is my version of their summer seasonal scallops dish. I put my own spin on it and simplified it for home-cooking purposes. I also chose to sear my scallops rather than serve them raw (ya know, for preggo reasons). I prefer scallops seared anyway. There is nothing better than that caramelized, super-crisp crust you get from a properly seared scallop. Yum.
Scallops are one of my favorite types of seafood. Actually, they may be THE favorite. Tender, slightly sweet, clean, and very versatile. I adore them. This dish is light and fresh and best served as a small “starter” course. I made them as an appetizer for my husband and me, and they were the perfect two-bite treat before the main event, which consisted of seared ribeye steaks and chipotle-honey butter. Yeah. It was a good night at our house.
Echoing the flavors of Serpico’s scallops, I served mine with a fresh chive oil and a creamy but slightly salty, slightly sour sauce. While I don’t claim to come even close to the restaurant’s version, these were pretty stellar for an at-home attempt. The chive oil and white soy sauce really do a number on the subtle sweetness of the scallops. Flavor bomb central.
The best part: a dish like this seems really impressive and difficult, but it’s NOT. Make the chive oil and cream sauce ahead (both only take minutes). Sear the scallops in a screaming hot pan coated with a little oil and butter, slap it all together on a plate, and you’re done. Easy peasy…but seemingly fancy schmancy.
The best of all worlds!
Seared Scallops with White Soy Cream & Chive Oil (makes 2 servings)
For the Chive Oil:
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 bunch of chives, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 dry scallops (See note**)
1 tablespoon butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon white soy sauce
Salt and pepper
For the Chive Oil: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Strain, if desired. Set aside.
Sear the scallops in the butter and oil, about 2 minutes per side, over very high heat so that a crust forms. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool just slightly before serving.
Whisk together the sour cream and heavy cream until smooth and pourable. Stir in the soy sauce and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
To Serve: spoon a thin layer of the cream mixture over the surface of a serving plate. Place the scallops on top and garnish everything with the chive oil and additional chopped chives. Serve immediately.
**NOTE: It is very important that the scallops you use are “DRY.” You will never get a good sear on the scallops that have been preserved/injected with saline. Ask your fish monger specifically for DRY scallops. It makes a huge difference!