seared scallops in saffron white wine sauce, sauteed chard,

Two rules: shellfish goes great with saffron, and saffron dissolves in water, not oil.

Sauteed chard

1. Sautee 1/2 diced onion and 2 cloves of sliced garlic.
2. Cut the stems out of a single bunch of well-washed chard (either green or red works well), and cut into 1 inch strips. You could braise these greens, in which case you’d leave the stems, but that’s a different recipe.
3. Put them in your sautee pan and stir over medium heat until they soften.
4. Sprinkle a few chile flakes and some lemon juice, season with some salt.

Seared scallops in saffron/white wine sauce
1. Keeping the rule in mind, take a small cup of dry white wine (about a half a cup), and put a small pinch of saffron in. In a few minutes, it steeps and gives a pretty intense yellow liquid.

2. Dry the scallops well, and season with salt. If you want, you can dredge in a little corn starch or flour, especially if they’re not as dry as you want them to be.
3. Pan sear over high heat in a mixture of oil and butter, basting them constantly, flipping every 15-30 seconds as they allow. This will depend on what kind of pan you use, how much fat, the water content of the scallops, etc. If you have nice dry scallops, use a stainless skillet. If you’re worried that they’re wet, use the nonstick, and don’t worry if they don’t brown. When in doubt use more butter/oil than you think you need, but tilt your pan so that you use this more as a basting liquid than a deep fry.
4. When they’re done (for me rare to medium rare), let them rest on a wire rack while you finish the sauce.
5. In your skillet, pour off the fat, and add the wine/saffron combination. Scrape down the pan getting all those little brown bits in the sauce.
6. Strain and spoon over or around the scallops.

rhone valley


I know I’ve talked about it before, but I don’t really make a big deal about wine recommendations. Mainly because you typically can’t get what I can get if you don’t live where I live. Thanks state law. But one I bring up over and over is stuff from the Rhone valley. I know I’ve posted on here about it in the past, but if you feel like you’re in a rut and want something that tastes good and is a great value, check some of these. Remember that the odd years are going to be better than even years since 2005 or so. A lot of these you’ll find in the sweet spot of 10-20 depending on how specialized you get. And yes you can spend in the hundreds or more if you want.
Check out some of the different varietals (from left to right)
Vin de Pays de Collines Rhodaniennes
Saint Joseph
Gigondas
Chateauneuf du Pape
Vacqueyras
Cotes-du-Rhone

Look at the one on the far left, and you can pick up some stuff from the label.
IMG_1018
1. Imported by Kermit Lynch. Never had anything bad from that he puts his name on.
2. The picture of the vineyard. If they come from multiple vineyards, they don’t do that.
3. Mis en Bouteille a la Propriete. Bottled on the property. These aren’t grapes that were sold to someone else for bottling.
4. 12% alcohol. Hard to find. Just look around, most everything is 13-14% or more. I’ve seen some up to 16%, personally that’s not what I’m looking for.

 

 
Of all of them, the Cotes-du-Rhone is the best value, and the way to start.
Look for stuff like Chapoutier, Jaboulet Parellele 45, E. Guigal CDR, etc. all of which you should be able to find for under 20 bucks.