Our days are numbered. Finally.
I rushed home with takeout sushi, hoping to beat B to the apartment. I had failed. As I walked into the house and tried to keep Brix from having a heart attack, I saw the bottle of bubbly on the counter and as I pushed the door the rest of the way open, I saw my husband. I went to greet him with a hug and kiss as I always do, but this time was superceded by my congratulations. He got a job in Kansas City. Five long months of living apart were finally over. I thought I could keep it together. I failed again.
I sobbed as I hugged him tight, so thankful for the end to be in sight. I sniffled through the opening of the celebratory sparkling wine and wiped tears away as the glasses were filled with the golden liquid. It was a special wine (the same he had used in his marriage proposal) and I’ll tell you this – that wine, with a side of good news, tasted damn good.
But, if you know anything about me by this point, you know that I can’t call a celebration complete with a meal carted into the house in styrofoam containers and a plastic grocery bag. We needed a little J & B style celebration. We spent a great weekend together with beautiful weather and a plethora of activities in our new hometown. I wanted to close the weekend with something special and decidedly spring. Fat asparagus and delicate sea scallops seemed like a fantastic idea, but I needed a little more to push the meal to celebratory mode. Remember how I said my favorite food was sauce? Enter beurre blanc.
Beurre blanc is like risotto to me, meaning, once you get the technique down, you can play with it and modify it as your heart desires. With the richness of the scallops and the bright asparagus, I wanted to counter the additional richness of the sauce with a bright splash of Meyer lemon. To me, Meyer lemons taste like a honeyed, herbal version of a lemon. Some call the flavor a cross between an orange and a lemon, but there’s something deeper under the surface that enhances the dishes in which it is included.
One of the best things about this meal is that it comes together in a flash – the scallops take just minutes to sear and the sauce pulls together as fast as butter melts. All of this was a good thing, because we were anxious to open another bottle of bubbles to celebrate our good news. Sadly, the meal ended as all do – no food remaining and too short of a time had passed. As B packed up the car yet again and I walked to the car with Brix, I greeted our weekend ritual of parting a little differently. I was sad to see him go, certainly. But I didn’t cry, unlike the other 21 Sundays since this began. I had cried tears of joy on Friday.
seared scallops with meyer lemon beurre blanc
recipe: jb’s pour house
1 lb. sea scallops, rinsed and patted thoroughly dry
1 c. dry white wine, such as chardonnay
2 Meyer lemons
3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. black peppercorns
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes (preferrably European style)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine white wine, zest and juice of Meyer lemons, shallot, rosemary, white wine vinegar and black peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring to a boil until reduced to about 1/3 cup. Strain remaining liquid into a small bowl. Discard solids and wipe out the saucepan. Return the liquid to the saucepan and place over medium low heat. Begin to whisk in butter, one cube at a time, until butter is thoroughly incorporated. Do not let sauce sit without stirring and do not let it boil, or you will break the sauce. Once all butter has been incorporated, season to taste with salt. Reduce heat to low and remove pan from heat. Alternately place pan back on heat and whisk often as scallops are cooking to prevent sauce from breaking.
Place a large skillet over high heat. Add about 1-2 Tbsp. canola oil. Season both sides of scallops lightly with salt and pepper. Place scallops in pan and sear, about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to move scallops once placed in the pan. Turn scallops over and sear for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately with as much beurre blanc as you like! (You may want a piece of bread to sop up all of the deliciousness.)
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