Scallops with Creamy Leeks

By Erin McDowell
January 7, 2013
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Scallops with Creamy Leeks

Author Notes: This was a dish I made once, long ago, to teach myself how to properly sear a scallop. I thought the creaminess of the scallop would be excellent over a bed of creamy leeks. The result was so good, it became regular party fare - perfect piled in an Asian soup spoon and served with a glass of champagne.Erin McDowell

Serves: 8-10 as an appetizer

Creamy Leeks

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 large leeks, washed well, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche

Seared Scallops

  • 20 large sea scallops, dried well
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. To make the creamy leeks, heat the butter in a large saute pan. Add the leeks and cook, over low heat, until very tender - 8-10 minutes.
  2. Season the leeks with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a moment until the cream thickens and becomes a homogenous part of the mixture, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the creme fraiche. Keep warm.
  3. Season the scallops with salt and pepper on both sides. In another large saute pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat. When the pan/fat is hot, add the scallops (presentation side down). Cook, undisturbed, until the scallop is golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Turn the scallop and cook on the other side just until the scallop is cooked through, 1-2 minutes more (depending on the size of the scallop). Serve immediately over a bed of creamy leeks.

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