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Dayboat scallops with a creamy sauce of leeks, cranberries and basil

Dayboat scallops with a creamy sauce of leeks, cranberries and basil


  • One pound Downeast Dayboat Scallops
  • 4 leeks, white parts only, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced and washed if necessary (dirt can really hide between the leaves!)
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup vermouth (sake or dry white wine if you don't have vermouth)
  • 1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs oil (olive oil, ghee, grapeseed oil, etc.)

In a heavy bottom skillet melt the butter over medium heat.  Add leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add vermouth and cook until vermouth is reduced by half. Add cranberries.

Add cream and reduce until you get the consistency you're looking for - you want it thick enough to coat a spoon so you'll likely want to reduce again by half.  When you have the desired consistency, add the basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat but keep warm.

Get a heavy bottom pan (cast iron is ideal, second choice is high quality non-stick) hot over medium high heat.  Sprinkle scallops with salt. Add oil or ghee (I prefer ghee) to the pan and let heat for 30 seconds.  Add scallops, largest flat side down and DO NOT MOVE for 2-3 minutes (depending on size).  You want to cook only one side of the scallop.  

Divide sauce between 3-4 plates.  Top with scallops, crusty side up (raw side down).  Garnish with basil and enjoy!

Recipe is adapted from one on the Canadian website ZESTE.  Photo is from ZESTE as well.

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