Pan Seared Scallops in a New Orleans Style Bordelaise Sauce Over Capellini

Scallops Bordelaise, New Orleans Style

Just when you thought I couldn’t find another way to prepare scallops, here’s one more!  I guess we can blame my scallop obsession on Fishmonger Jim at Gemini Fish Market.  He always brings in the most gorgeous dry packed sea scallops.  And of course, I cannot resist!

A New Orleans style Bordelaise sauce is much lighter and prepared with shallots, garlic, scallions, fresh herbs, white wine, a pinch of red pepper, heavy cream and lets not forget… a pat (or two) of butter.   The combination of fresh and zesty flavors beautifully compliments the pan seared scallops and delicate capellini; making a lovely  and delicious dinner.

Although I adore sea scallops I realize not everyone feels the same way.  So feel free to substitute the scallops with large prawns, bay scallops, or try adding clams to the sauce and then toss with the pasta.  Simple, fresh and absolutely delicious!

Delicious Wishes!

Scallops Bordelaise, New Orleans Style

Recipe adapted from Lousiana Cooking

Serves 2-3


1 lb Sea Scallops (ask for “dry packed”), halved horizontally for faster cooking

2-3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or ghee (clarified butter), or a combination of oil and unsalted butter

3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped scallions

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

2 sprigs thyme leaves, chopped

1 sprig fresh oregano leaves, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1/2 – 1 lb capellini pasta (or linguine), cooked

Fresh lemon wedges


In a medium skillet or saute pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil or clarified butter over medium heat.  When the oil or butter is hot (almost smoking), sear the scallops until golden brown on each side and they are firm to the touch.  Don’t move them around in your pan or they won’t develop that lovely crust. It will take at least 2 minutes or so and then you can take a peek.  Click on the highlighted “scallops” and it will take you to a tutorial on how to pan sear scallops.

You may need to sear the scallops in batches, adding additional olive oil and butter as needed.  Transfer to a plate and keep them warm.

In the same skillet over medium heat add a another tablespoon of butter, the shallots, garlic, scallions, 1/2 the parsley, thyme and oregano and let them cook for a minute or two.  Then add the white wine and let it simmer a minute or two.

Reduce the heat to medium low and whisk in the heavy cream and two tablespoons of butter.  Let the sauce simmer for a minute or two.  Add the pinch of red pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the pasta with the sauce and transfer to a serving dish.  Place the seared sea scallops on top of the pasta and garnish with the remaining Italian parsley.  Serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges.



  1. Just tried your recipe: well explained and more importantly, delicious! Thanks

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