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Seared Scallops in Black Truffle Beurre Blanc Sauce

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Tender, Seared Scallops in Black Truffle Beurre Blanc Sauce.  This is an elegant dinner entrée for a special date night.  The richness of the large seared scallops is a perfect partner with the earthy taste of the black truffle sauce.

A plate of seared scallops with a black truffle slice and black truffle sauce.

A delicate, thin slice of Oregon’s black truffle adorns these rich seared scallops. The beurre blanc sauce is a creamy butter sauce made from black truffle butter studded with gratings of Oregon’s black truffle. 

What is Beurre Blanc Sauce:

Beurre blanc sauce is a classic French Sauce. It is a silky, rich butter sauce that pairs well with any seafood. To make the sauce, shallots and wine get simmered in a saucepan until reduced to a few tablespoons, then small bits of cold butter are whisked into the reduction to achieve an emulsion. The tricky part is to keep the heat regulated while whisking and adding the butter. If the sauce begins to get too warm the emulsion breaks and the sauce separates.

Tip: A couple tablespoons of heavy cream added at the beginning of the reduction will keep the sauce stable. This is optional and I am sure a French chef would be appalled at this technique and call it cheating. ?

What can I do with leftover Beurre Blanc Sauce?

Unfortunately, beurre blanc sauce does not reheat well.  If you have sauce left over, do not throw it out! It will keep in the refrigerator in a lidded container but will solidify because it is basically butter. When reheated it will separate into melted butter. Stir it into hot pasta or scoop a spoonful or two out to flavor vegetables. It is still good stuff! We use it in the same way as garlic butter sauce.

A serving of seared scallops in some black truffle beurre blanc sauce, garnished with frisée greens and a slice of truffle

Ingredients Needed to make Seared Scallops in Black Truffle Beurre Blanc Sauce:

  • Olive oil
  • Shallot
  • Dry white wine
  • Heavy cream
  • Black Truffle Butter
  • Coarse salt
  • White pepper
  • 6 large (U-10) dry sea scallops 

What are Black Truffles and where can I get them:

Truffles are a fungi and in the same family as mushrooms. Mushroom grow above the ground which makes them easy to harvest. Truffles hide beneath the ground where they are out of site and hard to locate. One of the reasons truffles are so expensive is due to their harvesting.  It takes a strong sense of smell to locate them. 

One large Oregon Black Truffle, 2 smaller ones
Fresh Oregon Black Truffles

Pigs have long been the standard for the truffle hunter but they are being replaced with dogs for their keen sense of smell. Truffles have a unique fragrance and dogs can smell them in the earth under layers of soil, leaves and moss. Any breed of the canine family is trainable as a truffle-hunter. 

Fresh Oregon truffles are seasonal from December to February and I am going to be honest here. They are pricy. You can find them in the produce section of high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods, Town and Country or Central Market. Ask your produce manager if, and when they are planning to stock them. 

You can also find tiny jars containing one small whole truffle packed in oil in the gourmet section of grocery stores. I found a small jar with a black truffle at Home Goods for $7 on the shelves where they stock fancy food items.

Truffles are typically used for a finishing ingredient with fine gratings or thin slices as a garnish. One small truffle will add a unique touch to a nice entrée. Truffles are not meant to be used like you would mushrooms. They make a great addition to this pasta with black truffle sauce.

How to Make Seared Scallops in Black Truffle Beurre Blanc Sauce:

Here is a quick break-down of the recipe. Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the post for the printable card for the details and helpful notes.

This is a two-step recipe and begins with making the Black Truffle Beurre Blanc Sauce which takes 15 to 20 minutes. You can keep the sauce warm while searing the scallops. With advance planning of salads and sides, this elegant dinner can be on the table in less 30 minutes!

  1. Sauté the shallots in the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat until soft but not brown. Then pour in the wine and let it reduce to a mere film on the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the cream and cook until reduced and thick. 
  2. Reduce the heat to low and begin adding the cold butter 1 or 2 bits at a time while whisking the sauce. Slide the skillet on/off the heat every 10 seconds so the sauce does not get too hot. 
  3. Continue adding butter bits and whisking while sliding the pan on and off the heat until all the butter has been incorporated and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small pitcher. Set the pitcher into a dish of warm tap water to keep warm while searing the scallops. 

Let’s Sear the Scallops:

You can use either fresh or frozen scallops for this recipe and we have given instructions for both.  The key to getting a rich, brown crust on the scallops is to remove as much moisture from their surface as possible.

Searing scallops in a saute pan.

For frozen scallops, remove them from the package and place them, in one layer, on a wire rack set over a plate or baking sheet.  Cover the scallops with a sheet of parchment paper and transfer to the refrigerator to thaw. When ready to cook, proceed as follows:

For fresh or thawed scallops, place scallops on a plate lined with a double layer of paper towels. Salt liberally and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Using more paper towels, pat the scallops on all sides as dry as possible. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and set aside while heating the skillet and butter.

Heat the oil in a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet, set over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add the scallops to the hot skillet spacing them an inch or so apart. Cook for 1-1/2 minutes to a rich brown. Turn the scallops with tongs and cook the other side for 1 minute. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining scallops. 

Slicing a seared scallop and dipping it in black truffle sauce garnished with frisée greens and a slice of truffle

To serve, spoon a puddle of the black truffle beurre blanc sauce in the center of a dinner plate, place 3 scallops on the sauce and garnish with fresh herb sprigs and a thin slice of black truffle if available.

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Vegetable Chowder with Seared Scallops: This chunky Vegetable Chowder with Seared Scallops is a kaleidoscope of colors that takes full advantage of good, healthy vegetables. The large seared scallops have a delicate texture and subtle sweetness. Plus, they add a gourmet touch to this vegetable chowder making it suitable to serve to guests.
  • Seared Scallops with Romesco Sauce: These large sea scallops are pan seared to a golden brown and basted with a garlic-thyme butter. They have a rich, ultra-creamy, tender center and well complimented when served on a swath of smooth romesco sauce.
  • Sake-Red Miso Glazed Sablefish with Wasabi Emulsion: Sablefish is a delicate, fatty fish and the sweetness of the saki-miso marinade is a perfect balance and complimented with the wasabi emulsion.

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A plate of seared scallops with a black truffle slice and black truffle sauce.

Seared Scallops in Black Truffle Beurre Blanc Sauce

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Tender, seared scallops in black truffle beurre blanc sauce. This is an elegant dinner entrée for a special date night. The richness of the large seared scallops is a perfect partner with the earthy taste of the silky black truffle beurre blanc sauce.

Ingredients

For the Black Truffle Beurre Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 ounces Black Truffle Butter
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • Pinch of white pepper

For the Scallops:

  • 6 large (U-10) dry sea scallops *See Notes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Instructions

For the Black Truffle Beurre Blanc:

  1. Brush the olive oil on the bottom of a small skillet set over medium-low heat.  Add the shallots and sauté until soft, do not let them brown.
  2. Pour the wine into the pan and let it reduce to where it is just a film on the bottom of the pan.  Stir in the cream and reduce until thick. 
  3. Slide the pan from the heat and begin adding 1 or 2 cubes of butter while whisking the sauce.  Slide the skillet on and off the heat at 10 second intervals to control the heat while whisking the butter.  If the sauce becomes too hot the butter will separate and will loose the emulsion. 
  4. Continue adding butter, whisking and sliding the pan on/off the heat until all the butter has been incorporated and the sauce is smooth and creamy.  
  5. Add salt and white pepper to taste and transfer to a small pitcher or jar.  Set the jar of sauce in a bowl of warm tap water to keep warm while preparing the scallops.

For the Scallops:

  1. For frozen scallops, remove them from the package and place them, in one layer, on a wire rack set over a plate or baking sheet, cover with a sheet of parchment paper and transfer to the refrigerator to thaw. When ready to cook, proceed as follows:
  2. For fresh or thawed scallops, place scallops on a large plate that has been lined with a double layer of paper towels. Salt liberally and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Using more paper towels, pat the scallops on all sides as dry as possible. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and set aside while heating the skillet and butter.
  3. Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet, set over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add the scallops to the hot skillet spacing them an inch or so apart, (if necessary, work in batches) cook for 1-1/2 minutes to a rich brown. Turn the scallops with tongs and cook the other side for 1 minute. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with any remaining scallops. 
  4. To serve, add a 1/4 cup of the black truffle beurre blanc sauce to a dinner plate. Place 3 scallops on the sauce and garnish with fresh herb sprigs and garnish with a thin slice of black truffle if available.

Notes

  • Adding the cream to the beurre blanc sauce is optional but it will keep the sauce from separating.
  • Keep the heat on low. Slide the skillet on and off the heat at 10 second intervals to control the heat while whisking the butter.  If the sauce becomes too hot the butter will separate and loose the emulsion.
  • I have had great results with leaving 1/4 of the skillet sitting on the edge of the heat while whisking the butter. There is just enough heat to melt the butter at a steady rate.
  • If your sauce begins to separate, stop adding butter and add a teaspoon or two of wine or other liquid while whisking vigorously. Once it comes together again, finish whisking in the butter a cube or two at a time.
  • In scallop world, scallops that are sized U-10 means that fewer than 10 scallops add up to 1 pound. Each scallop will weigh about 2 ounces each. If you are using smaller size scallops, adjust the cooking time to 1 minute per side.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 1215mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Rahul @samosastreet

Monday 9th of November 2020

This looks absolutely gorgeous and very tasty! I loved how you kept things simple. I am planning to make scallops for my graduation celebration.

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 9th of November 2020

Thank you, Rahul....and a happy graduation to you, congratulations!

angiesrecipes

Monday 9th of November 2020

I have a tiny jar of black truffle in my pantry :-) This looks incredibly delicious with the combo of flavours and I LOVE that butter sauce.

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 9th of November 2020

You have a truffle??? You have to use it for something special like these scallops, Angie, or a sea bass (coming soon) Thanks for your comments, Angie!

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