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Seared Scallops with Sautéed Apples

By Chef John Ash

Quality of the scallops is crucial to this dish and fresh “Day Boat”, “Diver” or “Dry Pack” jumbo scallops are called for (order from your fishmonger).  Day boat scallops are harvested daily and never put into a brine solution. As a result, the texture is meatier and they sear or grill beautifully, as opposed to those that have been soaking in a brine solution which is usually laced with tripolyphosphate that bleaches the scallop and encourages it to soak up water.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time

    Prep Time

    Difficulty Level Medium


    1 lb Fresh jumbo day boat scallops

    Kosher or sea salt

    Freshly ground white pepper

    1 C Chopped cremini mushrooms

    1/2 C Chopped shallots or green onions

    5 tbs Butter

    1 tbs Olive Oil

    2 C Peeled, cored and julienned tart green apples (Pippin or Granny Smith)

    1 C Dry white wine

    3 C Shellfish or chicken stock

    1 3-Inch Vanilla bean, split

    1 C Heavy Cream

    1 tsp Dijon Mustard

    Garnish Fresh microgreens such as onion, rinsed fresh whitefish or salmon caviar


    1. Remove any side muscle from scallops, rinse, pat dry and lightly season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    2. In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté mushrooms and shallots in 2 tablespoons butter until just beginning to color. Add 1 cup apples, white wine, stock and one half of the split vanilla bean and reduce by half over moderately high heat, about 10 minutes. Add cream and mustard and reduce to a light sauce consistency. Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer, pushing down on the solids. Discard

    3. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the olive oil to a sauté pan and sear scallops quickly on both sides over high heat. Set scallops aside and keep warm. Add remaining butter to a clean pan and sauté remaining apples for a minute or so or until crisp-tender. Be careful not to overcook, apples should still be firm and scallops slightly translucent in center.

    4. Arrange apples and scallops attractively on warm plates. Spoon warm sauce over and garnish with microgreens and caviar.

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