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VIDEO: Michael White's Truffled Scallops

VIDEO: Michael White's Truffled Scallops

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October 26, 2011


Ali Rosen, Daily Meal Video

The Ai Fiori chef shows to make scallops with butternut squash caponata

Michael White's Truffled Scallops

The Ai Fiori chef shows to make scallops with butternut squash caponata

Coming Up Next

  • Michael White's Truffled Scallops 4:09 mins

Ali Rosen

Michael White

Searing sweet briny scallops to give them a golden brown crispy crust is an essential cooking method for any cook’s seafood repertoire. The secret is a hot pan, a high-heat, rapid cooking trick mastered by busy restaurant line cooks. A hot pan not only browns the scallops but allows you to whip up a tasty wine sauce too.


1 pound (500g) or more of large fresh sea scallops, small tough side muscle removed, patted dry
1 cup (250 mL) of all-purpose flour
a sprinkle or two of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of any cooking oil
2 tablespoon (30 mL) of butter
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced separately
1 cup (250 mL) of your favourite dry wine
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of Dijon mustard
1/2 cup (125 mL) of whipping cream


Preheat your largest, heaviest frying pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Meanwhile, toss the scallops in the flour and season them to your taste with salt and pepper. Splash the oil into the hot pan, gently swirling until the oil is shimmering hot but not smoking. Add the butter to the side of the pan where the oil gathers and pools. When the butter has melted, swirl the pan for a moment or two until the butter just begins to brown and sizzle.

When the butter is golden brown and fragrant, quickly add the scallops one at a time, in a single layer with a bit of space in between. Watch and listen to the still-browning butter. Adjust the heat so it’s high enough to maintain a sizzling sear but not so high that the butter begins to burn. Continue searing the scallops, turning them once, until they’re evenly browned on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the caramelized scallops to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Toss the garlic and the white part of the green onions into the pan and sauté them briefly until they’re soft and aromatic, 2 minutes or so. Pour in the wine and simmer until half of it has evaporated. Whisk in the mustard, then stir in the cream and reduce until the sauce smoothes and thickens, another minutes or two. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onion tops. Pour the sauce over the scallops.

What's Cookin' with Dr. Mike: The Grassroots Gourmet

If you have not visited A Taste of Beirut, you need to do so immediately. In fact, a part of today’s recipe is inspired by Joumana’s incredible creations. Like most Chefs, my schooling included basic techniques and preparations and the emphasis was on more European, especially French traditions (the material derived from Carême, Escoffier, Point, Bocuse, Troisgros, Chapel, Bise, et. al.). Nothing wrong with that and it provides a firm foundation. But as with martial arts or medicine, there are many fine traditions around the world that we can learn from it just takes an open mind and a beginner’s heart. I know very little of Middle Eastern cuisine (other than what I ate while there and it was good!) and continue to learn from her fantastic resource. So a tip of the hat to Joumana for inspiring the truffled potato nests for the seared scallop. Some days I think that if we all just ate and drank together the world might be a little less toxic.

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 large potatoes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of rice flour
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs good quality truffle oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • Fresh large sea scallops
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup finely sliced Bok Choy (white part only), about 1 inch long
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender. Then mash them with the egg, salt, pepper and rice flour. Roll into small balls and place in a min-muffin pan. Push out the center to from the base of the nest. Cook for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

While the nests are finishing heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the Bok Choy, add the balsamic and reduce. Heat some oil over high heat in another sauté pan until smoking and sear the scallop. Mix the parsley and lemon zest together. When finished assemble the potato nest, bok choy then scallop. Top with the parsley and lemon zest.

Perfect Pan-Seared Scallops (with a Simple Pan Sauce)

Today we’re showing you how to prepare Perfect Pan-Seared Scallops – served with a simple, flavorful pan sauce! Scallops are one of our favorite types of seafood to eat, but they can be a little tricky to cook!

You’ll first want to start with the freshest possible sea scallops you can find (sea scallops are the large-sized scallops, not the smaller ones), and ideally you want to use “day boat” scallops which were harvested on a boat that returned to shore the same day the scallops were caught.

Perfect pan-seared scallops take just minutes to cook, and one of the secrets to ensuring that wonderful golden, caramelized color is to make sure that the scallops are perfectly dry before you start to sear them. If the scallops are wet, they won’t brown in the pan!

You also want to cook the scallops over very high heat using a combination of clarified butter (which has a much higher smoke point than regular butter) as well as a lighter, neutral-flavored oil such as canola or grape seed so it doesn’t detract from the wonderful taste of the scallops.

While sautéing, avoid over-crowding the sauté pan (don’t let the scallops touch each other in the pan) and also, avoid turning the scallops over and over as they cook. Just allow each side to brown and caramelize and then remove them from the pan once they are cooked through.

We love serving our scallops with a simple pan sauce made with vermouth or a dry white wine (such as chardonnay), fresh herbs, lemon zest and a touch of butter! This light sauce comes together quickly as well, and it is the perfect complement to your perfect pan seared scallops!

Lemon Butter Scallops

Yield: 4 servings

prep time: 5 minutes

cook time: 10 minutes

total time: 15 minutes

All you need is 5 ingredients and 10 minutes for the most amazing, buttery scallops ever. Yes, it’s just that easy and simple!


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the lemon butter sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.
  3. Season scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. Working in batches, add scallops to the skillet in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. To make the lemon butter sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve scallops immediately with lemon butter sauce, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Did you Make This Recipe?

Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.

Truffle Butter Recipes and Uses

ruffle butter is one of those items that will forever change the way you cook. Available in black and white varieties, this refrigerator staple is easy to use and will enhance everything it touches with the rich and earthy flavor truffles. Truffle butter can be used to flavor various dishes and enhance recipes, or enjoyed on its own, spread on bread or crackers. Read on for our top 12 easy ways to get you cooking with truffle butter.

VIDEO: Michael White's Truffled Scallops - Recipes

I am Mr. Potato head. No, not because of my rather large cranium (hey, it has to be big to fit my huge b rain), but because my thoughts are so often centered on potatoes.

Some people daydream about winning the lottery, or being hired as Scarlett Johansson's personal masseuse I sit and dream about new potato side dishes like this one.

This amazing truffled potato gratin recipe was the star of my recent dry-aged steaks dinner, and was probably the best potato side dish I've had all year.

I love potatoes so much that when I'm looking at a menu in a restaurant, I will actually order my entrée based on what the potato is. I don't care what the main course is, if I see this potato gratin as the accompaniment, that's what I'm getting.

If you've never had truffles before, and are wondering what all the fuss is about, then this is the recipe to try for experiencing the real magic of these fabulous fungi. The great thing about this recipe is you don't need a fortune worth of fresh truffles to make it, thanks to an Italian cheese called sottocenere.

Sottocenere is a semi-soft, fairly mild cheese that's studded with fragrant truffles. When baked into a potato gratin like we've done here, you get the full punch of truffle flavor and aroma, but at a fraction of the cost.

Before you start whining about not being able to find it, check out your nearest big city's best cheese shop -- they can get it. If a store imports Italian cheeses they will have access to this miracle of mycological cheese making.

Speaking of mushrooms, I used a mix of brown and lobster mushrooms, which worked very nicely, but this recipe will be spectacular with any mushroom.

If you can find some wild mushrooms like morel, chanterelle, porcini, or lobster, use them -- but if you can't, use regular supermarket mushrooms and you will still be rewarded with a very memorable potato side dish. Enjoy!

2 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
5 cups sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
5 medium russet potatoes, sliced thin
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
6 oz sottocenere cheese, grated
2 cups cream
1 cup chicken broth

Chef Michael White’s Perfect Late-Night Pasta

What's in your refrigerator at any given time says a lot about you. In this series, GQ reached out to famous chefs with a deceptively simple, if revealing, question: What do you cook when you're by yourself and no one's watching?

If you want pasta so good it’ll make you want to cry (no shame in that), go to Michael White. Or maybe more accurately, go to any of his 16 knock-your-date’s-socks-off restaurants scattered throughout the world, including the two-Michelin-starred Marea, Costata in SoHo, Osteria Morini, Ai Fiori (also Michelin rated), Al Molo in Hong Kong, or the recently opened Vaucluse on Park Avenue. Chef White, you see, is an authority on Italian cuisine, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a drop of Italian blood and was born and raised in Wisconsin.

So you’d think a chef synonymous with the word “pasta” would be sick of it by now, but that’s not entirely the case. “A lot of pastry chefs don’t eat sweets,” says White. “I still love pasta, but I eat it maybe once a week.” White knows what’s good and what’s easy. That’s why when he’s off the clock he’s whipping up a bowl of quick-and-easy carbonara, a dish that originated as a hearty meal made for weary coal workers around Rome. White’s version, made with fresh pasta, has all the hallmarks of a classic: a rich, creamy sauce, salty cubes of bacon, coarse black pepper—finished with a handful of arugula to add a fresh note and a nice bite. Best of all, it’s ready to eat in less than 10 minutes.

Chef Michael White: “This is a quick rendition of carbonara. Notoriously chefs don’t eat during the day. They also don’t want to eat what they normally cook because they’re surrounded by it all the time. Sometimes when I’m going home I’ll grab a handful of fresh pasta—it cooks so quickly. So when I go home at night and I want to watch a few episodes of Narcos, this is the perfect thing to eat out of one of my big Pearl River bowls. I can eat and watch TV and not have to worry about spilling stuff all over myself.”

Bay Scallops With Garlic

There's something about cooking scallops at home that feels luxurious and indulgent. That might be because they seem like the domain of restaurants and because they're not exactly the least expensive piece of seafood or shellfish you can buy. But they cook fast and aren't hard to cook at all. They just need a little TLC because they cook so quickly, it also means it's very easy to overcook them.

Scallops are typically labeled as either bay scallops or sea scallops. Bay scallops are much smaller, averaging about 100 per pound. Sea scallops are around three times larger, averaging about 30 per pound. Consequently, bay scallops need less time to cook plus, they tend to be more tender and a bit sweeter.

The scallops take very little preparation. Just toss them with some flour and chop the garlic. Since they cook in a matter of minutes, have all of the ingredients and meal items ready when you add the scallops to the pan. Avoid overcooking them, as they can become tough and rubbery when overcooked.

A combination of garlic and olive oil makes the flavors in this dish similar to shrimp scampi and tastes great alongside a pot of rice or served atop angel hair pasta. The garnish of fresh chopped parsley adds flavor and color to the dish. Feel free to garnish the scallops with sliced green onion tops or chives if you like. Or sprinkle the scallops with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese.

Scallops are one of the simplest kinds of seafood to cook. They’re just as easy as shrimp. In fact, we use the same method to prepare these garlic basil scallops as we use when making our garlic butter shrimp.

There’s no need to be intimidated. Scallops are easy to prepare, promise. With a few tricks, you’ll be cooking them like a pro in no time. Let me show you how I do it:

How to buy scallops

Before we can cook them, we need to buy quality scallops. Buy freshest you can find. I look for larger sea scallops since they taste sweet.

Frozen scallops work in this recipe, too. The easiest and safest way to thaw them is to place them in the refrigerator the night before you plan to cook them. For a quicker solution, you can add them to a sealed bag and put them in a large bowl under cold running water. Move the bag around the bowl every so often until the scallops have defrosted. Assume they will take half-an-hour, or so.

The steps for cooking scallops

This recipe is a simple one. Once you learn the tricks to cooking perfectly browned scallops on the stove, you’ll want to do it all the time.

Step 1: Pat the scallops dry. I like to use a paper towel to pat them as dry as possible. Damp scallops won’t sear or brown in the pan. The drier they are, the better they will sear. Frozen scallops will have a bit more moisture so take extra care when patting them dry.

Step 2: Add a light dusting of flour. For an extra fail-safe, add a light dusting of flour to each side of the scallops. The flour absorbs excess moisture and adds a nice golden brown crust after cooking in a hot pan. If you don’t have flour or are gluten-free, you can skip this step.

Patting dry and adding a light dusting of flour helps to get a golden brown sear.

Step 3: Season the scallops. I use a generous amount of salt and pepper. I season one side out of the pan, place them seasoned side down into the hot pan, and then while that side cooks, I season the other side.

Step 4: Cook the scallops in a hot pan. If they aren’t sizzling when you place them into the frying pan, it isn’t hot enough. Between the dry and floured scallops and a hot pan, you are guaranteed a beautiful golden brown sear.

Step 5: Finish with butter, garlic, and herbs. Scallops already taste incredible, but adding a bit of creamy butter, garlic, and fresh herbs at the end of cooking makes them restaurant worthy.

Adding a bit of creamy butter, garlic and fresh herbs at the end of cooking makes scallops that are restaurant worthy.

And there you have it, how to cook scallops like a professional chef. Stick with our flavors of butter, garlic, and basil or try something else. Fresh thyme, tarragon or something spicy like jalapeño is an excellent idea.

Watch the video: Michael White, Narrative Therapist: Funny Moments (August 2022).