Mind over Mollusk – Scallops in Tarragon Brown Butter Sauce

While tempting to tell you all about our journey into Colonial food for the kiddos’ Colonial festival, I’ll spare you all the gory details of onion pies and transparent puddings!  Suffice it to say that pilgrim-esque cooking is not my gig and so I’m glad I wasn’t drafted for the Mayflower.

My little mind is also flirting with the idea of pumpkin pie (we made one fresh from the adorable little pie pumpkins they have at Trader Joe’s these days), but there are a bazillion other blogs out there this time of year talking turkey and pie.

I could also go all persimmon on you since we have been inundated with those little gems these past few weeks, but the truth is, as hard as we have tried, none of us really likes them.  I want to like them, I really do.  But sadly they just don’t do it for me.

So I’ll hang on that little segue and get to the point of scallops.  Like the persimmon, I have never truly enjoyed scallops.  Shrimp – no problem.  Lobster – ok, twist my arm.  Clams – yep, especially if they are fried.  But the scallop, ummm, pass.  There’s just something about the texture, the concept, the appearance that creates a mental barrier for me.  The stomach wants to, but the brain isn’t cooperating.  Then last week I had this weird out of body experience while strolling through Costco (yes, we’re back on speaking terms again) and a strange voice in my head said, “Hey, don’t those scallops look good?”  I looked around to see who was commenting on the crustacean only to realize it was my very own inner voice.  I looked to the kids and threw out the crazy idea that we try some, half expecting full veto.  Nope, they were all on board.  Maybe had I said, “How about we cook up some bi-valve mollusks for dinner tonight?” I could have swayed the vote a bit more.  But by the time I had retraced my steps and thought of that approach, the exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates were already in my cart.

Wouldn’t you know, that evening, the Hubs had a last minute meeting come up.  Great . . .there I was cooking scallops -which I don’t even like – for a 10 year old, an 8 year old, a 4 year old, and a 2 year old!  Why didn’t I just roll an extra math lesson into dinner and call it a real party?!  After sifting through a few recipes, I decided that simple was best for this little seafood saga.  Scallops in Tarragon Brown Butter Sauce it was, and off we went.

We started by generously salting and peppering the little guys.


Then, we heated a bit of olive oil in a large skillet and added the scallops.  We let them cook until golden brown on one side (about 4 minutes), and then flipped them and added some butter and a few sprigs of fresh tarragon.  The tarragon had come in our weekly produce box and was just lovely.



We let the second side cook for another 4 minutes or so, just until the butter was browned and started to small kind of nutty  Finally we mixed in a little fresh lemon juice.  We served everything up with some mashed sweet potatoes, sauteed summer squash & French bread (for dipping in the brown butter sauce, of course).


Overall not a bad reception – loved by the 10 year old, luke warm reception by the 8 year old, eaten by the 2 year old, and the 4 year old?  Let’s just say lots of sweet potatoes and squash were consumed by a certain someone at the table.  As for me . . .  well, my inner-voice was leading me in the right direction (and for once it wasn’t toward chocolate).  I enjoyed the little mollusks after all!

Here’s the complete recipe for Scallops with Tarragon Brown Butter Sauce.

And for your browsing pleasure, here are a few more scallop recipes:

A Definite First – Collard Greens Burritos

I love a challenge.  Last week that challenge came in the form of COLLARD GREENS which appeared in my weekly produce box. What?!  I admit I had to take a step back on that one.

Googling efforts produced a good chuckle anyway.  My favorite entry was titled “Do white people eat collard greens?”  Though racist and not the kind of question I would think of popping off with, I have to admit that it made me think.  This white person had never eaten collard greens.  I started to wonder why.  Well first off, my culinary exposure sprouts from two distinct geographic locations: Ohio and France.  Enough said – I don’t think I need to go into any deeper explanation on that one.  Secondly, collard greens just aren’t jumping up and down in the produce aisles I frequent squeaking out “pick me, pick me!”  And finally, my usual online haunts, like Epicurious, aren’t regularly featuring collard greens as the latest, hippest food in town.  So there you have it.  As a result of these three little factors, this white person had never eaten collard greens.  Bummer for me.

So after deciding that I wouldn’t be fixing up any chitlins, hog jowl, ham hocks or pigs feet to accompany my collard greens, I set out to find a recipe that that would allow me to use my beautiful greens AND keep the cooking style in line with what we usually eat.  After all, the collard green is considered one of the world’s healthiest veggies and I didn’t want to pass up its health benefits just because I wasn’t going to be frying them up in pork fat.

I came up with a lovely idea of burritos using the collard greens in place of the tortilla and off we went.

I started by removing the stems from the collard greens.  Each green will make two separate wraps.  After the stems were removed. I placed the greens in boiling water for about 4 minutes.   Then I pulled them out and transferred to ice water.

In a large skillet, I sautéed up some onion and bell pepper.  I think I may have tossed a small chili in there too for some extra heat.


Once those were nice and golden, I added in some brown rice and 3/4 of a can of diced tomatoes.  I also tossed in some chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a smidge of cayenne.


I mixed that up well, and started to spread about 1/2 c. of the mixture into each collard green half.


I rolled each leaf up and then lined them in a 9×13″ baking pan.  I scattered some Mexican cheese blend over the top and then the remaining diced tomatoes.  Into the oven it went at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes – just long enough to make sure everything was piping hot.


So there you go . . . who knew incorporating collard greens into a weeknight staple could be so easy!


Here is the complete recipe for Collard Greens Burritos.

Want to explore more collard greens recipes?  Take a peek.