Scallops and Leek, and Everything … Not Greek?

This recipe was shared by my friend Tatiana, who now lives in Greece.  She swore it was a Greek recipe, but I didn’t believe her for one second.  It seems profoundly French to me in every respect — from vast quantity of onions used, to butter, to cream, to cooking in wine method, to extracting maximum flavor out of minimal number of ingredients.  And of course, like with everything French, the devil is in the details.

Scallops & Leeks served alongside steamed mixed grains

Here is the scoop — cook gently, and err on the shorter and smaller side. Use less wine, cook shorter times if it appears that scallops are getting too done.  Times and quantities vary, based on scallop size, freshness and texture.  Trust your eyes, nose, and fingers, and you’ll be delighted.

Leeks, trimmed to light green portion of the stem, cut in half lengthwise

Sauteing scallops in butter. Sounds very not Greek to me

Here are the What and How, for this batch

Scallops & Leeks

  • 1 to 1-1/2 lbs of large fresh scallops, rinsed
  • 2-3 large leeks, trimmed to light green portion of the leaves
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/2 to 1 cup white wine
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

First things first: cut leeks in half lengthwise, and using a sharp knife, slice them into linguini-like strips (or thinner, if you are up for it)

Prepare two skillets.  Divide butter in half and melt in both skillets over medium.

Place scallops in one skillet, sprinkle fresh pepper on them and saute on both sides until butter is absorbed.

Put leek “linguini” into the other skillet, reduce heat to low, and saute for about 15 minutes or so, until leeks are wilted and resemble cooked pasta in texture and look. Be careful not to brown the leeks.

When scallops drink up all the butter, add wine, 1/2 cup at first, increase heat to medium high and cook until wine is almost absorbed, and scallops are done. If scallops are done sooner than the wine is gone, this is ok. Better remove them from heat sooner than too late.

When scallops are done, transfer them into the skillet with leeks, add cream and salt to taste. Heat through and cook for a few minutes to thicken the cream.

Serve hot: over your favorite side dish, or just atop of a scallop shell, place leeks first to form a “nest”, and mount scallops on top. Pour some creamy sauce on top if desired, and garnish with basil.

I love watching butter slowly melt in a skillet...

Leeks, sliced into thin linguini

Scallops & Leeks served alongside steamed mixed grains
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Categories: Cravables, Dinner, Main Courses, Quick & Simple

Author:Eat Already!

I am a cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city on the Black Sea coast. Currently my interests include, but not limited to gardening, traditional nutrition, raw milk, fermentation techniques, books by Sitchin, Weston A. Price ideas, artisan bread making, anything handcraft, and many other, quite random, things. I believe in making things from scratch, in unpretentious dishes, visually un-altered food esthetics. I believe in reporting on daily cooking endeavors, not just on special occasion dishes. I believe everyone should learn how to cook at home because it's a great way to connect with your loved ones without saying too much, with your heritage without becoming an archivist, and with the world without learning languages...

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