Scallops With "Melted" Leeks And Tarragon-Caper Butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon drained capers patted dry
- 2 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 7 whole peppercorns
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 10 tablespoons butter - (1 1/4 sticks) cut into pieces
- 5 leeks, white and pale green parts only chopped (about 4 cups)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives - (packed)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add capers; sauté until crisp, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Boil wine and next 4 ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat until liquid is reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 15 minutes. Add cream; boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. (Capers and sauce can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and 3/4 cup water. Simmer until leeks are tender and almost all water evaporates, about 4 minutes. Mix in chives. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer leek mixture to platter. Tent with foil.
Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil in another heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add scallops; sauté until cooked, about 2 minutes per side. Arrange atop leeks. Tent with foil.
Reheat sauce over medium heat. Gradually add 6 tablespoons butter; whisk until smooth, about 1 minute (do not boil). Strain sauce into small bowl. Stir in capers and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over scallops.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
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