Dining Tip: Succulent Seared Sea Scallops Au Gratin

Hamptons chef Jonathan Parker at the famed American Hotel whips up a medley of sweet-savory flavors
Dining Tip: Succulent Seared Sea Scallops Au Gratin
The sea's bounty available on New York's Long Island inspired this dish; diced truffles over a fondue of sautéed leeks and savoy cabbage make a bed for the scallops. Pair with a fresh white. (Gordon M. Grant)
Oct 24, 2016

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the Nov. 15, 2016, issue of Wine Spectator, "40th Anniversary."

Jonathan Parker's Seared Sea Scallops Au Gratin

Chef Parker uses a local semi-hard cheese, Mecox Bay Dairy's Shawondasee, for his gratin. Gruyère, Comté or any equivalent can be substituted.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, such as safflower
  • 3 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage leaves (about 1/2 pound)
  • 3 cups 1/4-inch diced leek (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons 1/8-inch diced summer truffles (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 12 large sea scallops, tough side muscle removed
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) grated semi-hard cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives (about 1/2 bunch)

1. Wash diced leek and sliced cabbage in warm water and drain thoroughly. Place 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat until hot. Add leek, cabbage and thyme sprig, stir well, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cover and sweat for 3-4 minutes. Stir in truffles and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add white wine, uncover, and cook until liquid has evaporated. Stir in the crème fraîche and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to sauce consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste, transfer fondue to a bowl, cover and keep in a warm spot.

2. Pat scallops dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. Wipe out the sauté pan, place over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is very hot but not quite smoking, add the scallops and 1 tablespoon butter. Sear for about 2 minutes on each side until nicely browned.

3. Preheat the broiler on high. Combine the grated cheese and panko, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the seared scallops in an ovenproof dish. Place about 1 teaspoon of the cheese-panko mix on each scallop (there will be extra), drizzle with melted butter and broil until melted and crispy on top, 3-5 minutes. Remove thyme sprig from fondue and divide evenly on 4 plates. Place 3 scallops on top of each portion and sprinkle with chopped chives. Serves 4.

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