Jesse Schenker's Seared Scallops Stew Recipe

There's an ocean of flavor in this bowl

Until recently, if you wanted to taste chef Jesse Schenker's inventive cooking, you needed an invitation (and a couple hundred bucks) to dine at Recette, his private New York supper club. Lucky for us, Schenker has now made his playful dishes available to the public at his new restaurant (also called Recette) in the West Village. There, seared scallops served over a fragrant coconut-mussel broth is one of his most popular dishes–and with good reason. French, Spanish and Asian influences mingle in this refined take on seafood stew–an impressive first course for a dinner party, but fast and easy enough for any night.

Recipe adapted from Jesse Schenker, Recette, New York

Seared Scallops With Coconut-Mussel Stew
5 from 46 ratings
Seared Scallops with Coconut-Mussel Stew recipe from Jesse Schenker of New York's Recette restaurant
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 0 minutes
  • 1 pound mussels, cleaned
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced (about 2 cups), divided
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral oil, divided 1 medium carrot, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 celery root, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups lobster or fish stock
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil, plus extra for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound large sea scallops (about 15 to 20), cleaned and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a large skillet, combine the mussels, white wine, 1 cup of the onion and the thyme. Cover and cook over medium heat until the mussels open, about 3 minutes (discard any mussels that don't open). When cool enough to handle, remove the mussels from their shells and reserve; discard the shells. Strain the cooking broth and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the carrot, celery, celery root and the remaining 1 cup of onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the fish stock and reserved mussel broth, and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until slightly reduced, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the saffron, coconut milk, cilantro and basil and simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt; keep the stew warm over a very low heat.
  3. Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large skillet until almost smoking. Season the scallops with salt and place in the pan (in batches if necessary; don't crowd the scallops) and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the scallops over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining scallops.
  4. Just before serving, stir the reserved mussels into the stew until warm. Divide the stew among six bowls and top each with three to four scallops. Sprinkle with basil, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
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