Golden Seared Scallops

A seared scallops plate in front of a glass and a bottle of Apothic Red


  • ½ lbs fresh scallops (can be frozen)
  • 1 stalk leek
  • 2 cups cooking oil
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 large parsnips (cubed)
  • Maple syrup to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cup bourbon


Bourbon butter prep:

  1. Pour the bourbon into a freezer-safe, resealable plastic container or mason jar.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter and stir with a whisk until the milk solids start to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Immediately pour the butter into the bourbon jar, and whisk vigorously to combine.
  4. Allow the jar to cool to room temperature, then cover and freeze until the butter rises to the top and solidifies, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  5. Remove the solidified butter from the remaining bourbon liquid. The butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months and can be used for basting meats, cooking vegetables, or baking.

Scallop prep:

  1. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse them with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Set aside until you’re ready to cook them.

Fried leeks:

  1. Wash the leek and discard a few of the outer leaves to remove any surface dirt.
  2. Cut the green parts off of the leek and discard (or these can be used for another recipe but we will not be using the greens for this recipe.)
  3. Rough chop about a cup’s worth of the leek whites, and set aside for later use.
  4. Julienne about a cup’s worth of the white part of the leek by slicing them lengthwise into thin strips. Rinse them in cold water and then dry on a paper towel.
  5. Place the oil in a pan and heat up to about 350F degrees.
  6. Fry the julienned leeks until they are crispy and light golden brown, then drain off any excess oil by placing the fried leeks on a paper towel.

Parsnip purée

  1. Peel and cube your parsnips.
  2. In a large pot, bring your cream to a simmer on low to medium heat.
  3. Put the rough-chopped leek whites into the cream, and allow it to poach for 10-15 minutes, to flavour the cream. Remove the leeks from the cream, and set aside.
  4. Add the parsnips to the cream and cook until they are tender. It is done when you can easily poke a fork into the parsnip.
  5. Strain and save the cooking liquid.
  6. Transfer the cooked parsnips to your blender, along with the poached leeks, and begin blending. As you blend, slowly add in the drained liquid until the purée has reached your desired consistency.
  7. Season with salt and maple syrup to taste. Blend again to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.

Searing the scallops:

  1. Add 2 tsp of oil to a sautée pan on high heat.
  2. Salt and pepper the scallops just before you start cooking them.
  3. Once the oil begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other.
  4. Sear the scallops for 1 ½ minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Finish off the cooking by adding in about a tablespoon of your bourbon butter into the pan, and start basting your scallops with the melted butter – for about 1 minute. Remove scallops from the pan and set aside in a warm place until ready to serve.

Optional pan sauce:

  • 3 tbsp bourbon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp finely diced shallot
  • ¼ cup Apothic Red


  1. Prepare by having a few small pieces of the bourbon butter chilled in the fridge.
  2. In the pan you cooked your scallops in, return the pan to medium heat, and melt in a ½ tbsp of the butter, then add the shallots and sautée until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute.
  3. Add in the wine and simmer until the liquid has been reduced by about half, another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, and add the remaining butter in, a knob at a time while whisking constantly until the butter melts into the sauce. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.

Finish & Serve

Place your scallops next to a serving of the parsnip purée and top it liberally with your fried leeks. Spoon your fragrant pan sauce over the scallops, and enjoy this decadent dish with a glass of Apothic Red

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