Seared Scallops on Braised Wild Mushrooms

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Although this dish is quick and easy with few ingredients, its luxury comes from truffle oil-enhanced mushrooms. The crisp crust on the scallops renders a textural contrast to the tender mushrooms. To get the best crust, be sure your skillet is very hot, and only turn the scallops once during cooking.
4 servings (serving size: about 4 1/2 ounces scallops, 1/2 cup watercress, and 1/2 cup mushroom mixture)


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4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 2 ounces)
1 cup sliced oyster mushroom caps (about 2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon truffle oil or extravirgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups trimmed watercress


Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until mushrooms begin to soften. Add wine, thyme, and juice; reduce heat to low, and cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Pour mushroom mixture into a bowl. Stir in truffle oil; cover and keep warm.

Wipe pan dry with paper towels. Pat scallops dry with paper towels; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place cornmeal in a shallow dish; dredge scallops in cornmeal. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in pan over high heat. Add scallops; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve over watercress and mushroom mixture.

Wine note: No matter how they're prepared, scallops have a flavor that's unique, complex, and earthy, while their texture is almost creamy. And while all sorts of white wines work well, there's a European classic that's not to be missed: albariño. Albariños are fresh, superlively, and have light peach, citrus, and almond flavors. Try Burgans Albariño 2002 (Rías Baixas, Galicia, Spain), $12. -Karen MacNeil

Created date

December 2004

Nutritional Information

Calories 252
Caloriesfromfat 26 %
Fat 7.3 g
Satfat 1 g
Monofat 4.3 g
Polyfat 1.1 g
Protein 31.8 g
Carbohydrate 14.3 g
Fiber 1.7 g
Cholesterol 56 mg
Iron 1.8 mg
Sodium 578 mg
Calcium 69 mg