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TV Dinners: No Reservations - Scallops with Saffron Sauce

I'm about to say something shocking. I saw No Reservations (the film with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart, not the show with Bourdain) and I actually liked it. I originally agreed to join BuzzSugar (who also enjoyed the film), but almost backed out because I really wasn't interested. The trailer looked cheesy, and the story looked weak. However, it was the promise of upclose food pornography and hot kitchen action that made me stick with my plan.
And you know what? I was really glad I did. Not only was the story well executed and the characters entertaining, the food talk was delectable and droolicious on such a large screen. When Zeta-Jone's character talks about quail, scallops, saffron, or any other various dish, my mouth would water like one of Pavlov's dogs and my tummy would rumble. In fact, although I ate right before the film, I left craving roasted quail, homemade pizza, creme brulee, fish, spaghetti and most importantly, scallops with saffron sauce. Luckily I've found the recipe they used to create Zeta-Jone's signature dish and now I'm going to share it with you. To check out the recipe read more

Oh and if you notice, the recipe is actually from Lee Anne Wong of Top Chef Season 1.


Seared Scallops with Saffron Sauce
From NY Post and No Reservations by movie consultant Lee Anne Wong at the French Culinary Institute
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Seared Scallops
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
16 sea scallops, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh parsley
4 tablespoons lemon juice

  1. In large bowl, mix together flour, salt, oregano, thyme and lemon pepper. Roll scallops in flour mixture until lightly coated on all sides.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add four scallops and sear on all sides (about two minutes per side). Remove scallops and place on plate in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining scallops. Toss with parsley and lemon juice.

Saffron Sauce
1/2 cup finely minced shallots
4 kaffir lime leaves, minced (See note)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pinch saffron threads
2 tablespoons heavy cream
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into pieces
Juice of half a lemon, or more to taste
Salt and white pepper, to taste

  1. In heavy saucepan, combine shallots, lime leaves and white wine. Reduce to two tablespoons. Add saffron threads and heavy cream.
  2. Place pan over high heat and whisk in butter one piece at a time, adding the next piece before the last one has completely melted, stirring constantly. Do not allow mixture to boil. Add fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper. Serve with scallops.

Note: Kaffir lime leaves are the secret ingredient in chef Kate's saffron sauce. They can be found at Asian groceries and online.

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