This past weekend my partner reached his half century mark.  Yes, I’ve been hanging out with a younger man for quite a long time.

We are not big on traditional celebrations or in celebrating traditional holidays and occasions, so the fact that his birthday came and went without much fanfare was just as it should be.   We prefer simplicity, the unconventional, and gift giving has mostly fallen out of favour.

So, when he announced he would make a wonderful, favoured and rarely enjoyed recipe for our supper, it could not have been better.  And, it used the scallops leftover from the great Ginger Seafood Soup.

seared scallops

delightfully flavoured seared scallops

Seared Scallops with Champagne-Saffron Sauce

  • a generous pinch of saffron threads
  • about 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 20 large scallops, reserve juices
  • 4 tbsp spoons champagne or sparkling wine, reserve leftovers
  • 1 1/4c heavy cream (in recent years we substituteBalkan style plain yoghurt)
  • ½ lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh parsley for garnish

Over high heat in a dry nonstick fry pan, toast saffron threads until they just begin to give off their aroma.  Immediately place aside on a plate.

Melt half the butter, add half the scallops, fry for 2 minutes.  Turn and fry for a further 1 ½ – 2 minutes, until the flesh is opaque all the way through when you  pierce one with a knife.

Transfer scallops to a hot dish, cover and keep warm while cooking the second half in the same way, adding more butter as needed. Add to set aside scallops.


saffron threads

Add the saffron to the cooking juices and pour in the champagne, yoghurt(cream) and any reserved scallop juices.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat slightly and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced to consistency of a creamy sauce (coating the back of a wooden spoon if you use cream).

Add fresh squeezed lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Return the scallops to the pan and stir until just heated through.

Put on plates, garnish with parsley.

Enjoy with gusto, loved ones, and reserved champagne.  Simply lovely.