This is post #9 of my celebration of Dallas area food and music.Dallas isn’t really known for its seafood, but every now and then you find a place that hits the mark. A few years ago I had the diver scallops at Proof and Pantry Restaurant and they were winners. They were cooked perfectly with a well brown exterior and soft middle. Scallops are the quickest and easiest way to a weekday gourmet mill. However, execution like for most things, is quite essential. Poor execution nets rubbery scallops which is a no no.
The scallops I tried at Proof and Pantry were accompanied with a green vegetable puree. Lately I’ve become addicted to this very basic cream sauce and use it with everything from seafood to salads. It’s made with fresh pears and almond milk which provide a very unique flavor profile which works well with scallops. Again, execution drives this extremely simple sauce recipe. It’s all about cooking the flour appropriately which includes frequent stirring.
The simplicity of scallops sometimes mean they can get boring. Therefore its important to vary the accompaniments similar to skilled jazz pianists such as Art Tatum, Herbie Hancock or Thelonious Monk who all varied their accompaniment patterns throughout an entire chorus. I use a pear cream sauce here, but previously used a coffee vinaigrette for an earlier scallops recipe. One of the lesser known piano greats is one of my favorites, Dallas born and raised, Cedar Walton. Similar to scallops, Walton was equally adept at being the lead, the show or as he was the sideman on some great works. Go back and listen to his skills as a member of Art Blakey’s sextet which also included heavyweights Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard or just enjoy his “Bolivia” or “Naima”.
Great beats, better eats. Enjoy!
Seared Scallops with Pear Cream Sauce
Pear Cream Sauce
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 1 whole pear peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 Cups Almond Milk
- Spices to taste:
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- 8 fresh dry sea scallops
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
Pear Cream Sauce
Blend almond milk and pear in blender until smooth.
Add the oil to a pot on the stove and heat it at medium to high heat.
As the oil heats, sift the flour and add to the pan stirring vigorously.
Fry the flour in the oil for around 3 minutes, stirring the whole time, don't allow it to get too hot, turn down your heat if it starts to stick at any point.
Add the almond milk and pear mixture.
Continue to stir and allow the sauce to gradually thicken. You will usually get to the right thickness after it has reached boiling point and boiled for a few minutes.
When you've reached the desired thickness (keep in mind that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools), remove from the heat and add salt and pepper as well as any other spice you prefer.
Place scallops on a layer of paper towels and dry thoroughly.
Season with salt on all sides.
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add scallops, leaving space between each one to prevent excess steaming.
Cook scallops without moving them until well browned on first side, about 1 minute. Carefully flip scallops and cook until second side is browned, about 1 minute longer. Transfer scallops to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Serve immediately with pear cream sauce.