Seared Scallops Over Celeriac Pancakes with Champagne Beurre Blanc

scallops with celeriac pancakes chicken wings

Valentine's Day is just a day away and that means romantic dinners for two are in order. But it's one of the worst times to get a restaurant reservation, especially if you're making it at the last minute. So why not cook an elegant restaurant style dinner at home? You'll save yourself some anxiety and some money at the same time. With just a little romantic planning you can put together a great meal worthy of any five star chef.

One of the most elegant meals that come to mind when I think of fine dining is a plate of perfectly seared scallops. It always looks appealing and it's surprisingly easy to prepare. It's what you serve with the scallops that makes the dish even more special. A delicious sauce and a special side can elevate a plate of scallops to new heights. This meal may look more complicated than it is, but it's very manageable to make.

Searing the scallops is the easiest part of this recipe and it only takes minutes. You'll want to have the pancakes and the butter sauce prepared a few minutes beforehand. If you know how to fry hash browns or latkes then you won't find these celeriac pancakes difficult to make at all. The beurre blanc just needs some elbow grease to make, but if you know how to whisk quickly, then you're all set. Enjoy this dinner for two with your special someone.

Seared Scallops Over Celeriac Pancakes with Champagne Beurre Blanc

for the pancakes:
1/2 pound celeriac, peeked and grated
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons flour
1 large egg
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil, for frying

for the beurre blanc:
1 cup sparkling wine
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
fine sea salt

for the scallops:
olive oil
6 scallops, abductor muscles removed
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
chopped chives, for garnish

Combine the celeriac with lemon juice in a bowl and toss. Mix in the flour and the egg. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a shallow layer of vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Form celeriac mixture into flat 3-inch patties. Once oil is shimmering, add patties and cook in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a tray lined with paper towels. Yield: 8 to 10 pancakes.

Add sparkling wine and shallot to a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Strain shallot from mixture and return to saucepan set over low heat. Begin vigorously whisking in butter, a little at a time, until an emulsion forms. Season with salt. Yield: 1 cup.

Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Liberally season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear scallops for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. They should be brown and crusty on each side and just opaque in the middle.

Arrange pancakes on a platter or individual plates and top each with a scallop. Spoon over with beurre blanc and garnish with chives. Yield: 2 servings.