Seared Tuna and Scallops with a Honey Reduction Sauce
September and October are the best months in Maine, when the air is crisp and clean and the colors heighten. The short growing season comes to a crescendo, with tomatoes in full glory and fresh-picked peppers, cucumbers and squash at every meal. But I'm not ready for fall, because fall means winter isn't far off, and in the winter the herb garden is a bunch of brown sticks under the snow, local fishing production falls off, and the corn and tomatoes from our local producers are just a fond memory. So I'm obsessively cooking every day with the wonderful summer produce and fish, trying to suck every drop of juice from the end of summer. Last night's dinner was typical of this drive for the freshness and flavor of summer.
This is a quick and easy dinner filled with flavor and freshness. A local-caught piece of yellowfin tuna and a couple of diver scallops, seared quickly and sauced with a savory/sweet sauce. Some fresh tomatoes, an ear or two of corn and some baby bok choi, prepared italiano-style, and we're in business.
2 pieces yellowfin tuna, 3 oz each, cut thick (around 1-1/4")
4 large "diver" scallops, about 5 - 6 oz total
1/4 cup white wine
2 T vegetable broth (or chicken or fish broth or water)
4 tsp honey
2 T butter
1/4 tsp chopped garlic
8 grape tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, roasted and crushed
2 tsp olive oil
salt, hot sauce to taste
1 T minced parsley
Wash the scallops and tuna and pat very dry. Sear scallops and tuna very quickly (about 60 sec) on one side only in oil in heavy pan over high heat. Remove scallops and tuna to side plate and keep warm. Add garlic, crushed fennel seeds and wine to pan. Reduce wine by half. Add honey and broth and bring to a simmer. Add butter, stirring constantly until it melts. Off heat, add scallops and tuna, turn them over a couple of times in the sauce and season with salt and a pinch of cayenne. Place scallops and tuna on plate. Scatter tomatoes and parsley over scallops and tuna. Drizzle sauce over the fish and serve immediately.
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