Pan Seared Scallops and Morels- Rylee’s Surf and Turf


ot the email from Steve’s in Madison that New England scallops were coming in on Friday – fresh, never frozen.  They always sell out immediately.  So I reserved two pounds on Thursday.  I think of it as cheaper than buying an airline ticket to Boston….

Yes, I’m a foodie -but it wasn’t always the case, just ask my mom….

So it’s May and we are in the midst of Morel mushroom season in Wisconsin.  Morels are the earthiest, darkest and one of the best mushrooms you’ll ever eat.  Yet…

I’ve never actually liked the way that they are typically served in Wisconsin – cut long like a fish filet, floured with some salt and pepper and fried.  Meh….

I was looking for something different to do with the $32 per pound of pure Earthy essence of Wisconsin….

So my dinner challenge tonight was to combine two amazing foods from the ocean and the forest. I call it Wisconsin Surf and Turf….

I serve it with Graville-Lacoste, a white Bordeaux, recommended by Steve’s – it paired the strength to the garlic, morel and ocean perfectly.


  • Fresh Linguini Pasta (RP’s pasta) or dried if no options…
  • 1lb fresh sea scallops (8-10). rinsed and drained – if needed
  • 4 tbs grapeseed oil (olive oil works too)
  • 1 lemon (zested and that chopped) and squeezed for juice
  • Dash of white wine (save rest for dinner….)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed (less if desired)
  • Solid pinch of course salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Tinsy Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 6 Medium cleaned Morel Mushrooms cut cross-wise
  • 1-3 tablespoons butter (your choice)
This all comes together quickly – so cook the fresh pasta while the pans heat up and you start cooking….
  1. Mix together to make a marinade of 2 tbs oil, lemon juice, zest, chopped garlic, 3 tbs fresh basil, dash of wine, salt, and red and black pepper.  Seal mixture with scallops to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente – which for fresh pasta is only a few minutes…..!!!! Drain and rinse lightly. Save some of the pasta water to re-warm the pasta, if needed.
  3. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high, and melt 1-3 tablespoons of butter and a 1-2 tsps of olive or grapeseed oil to coat the bottom.  Once it starts to “smoke”, place the scallops and cook for about 1 minute until bottoms become golden brown.
  4. Stir in the marinade, add the Morels and stir around the scallops.
  5. Cook for another minute. Turn scallops, and cook the other side.  They will start to fray when they are fully cooked.  Pull the scallops from the pan when this occurs. Or just turn down the heat….
  6. Plate the pasta.
  7. Place the scallops on the pasta.
  8. Deglaze the pan with 1 tbs butter and a dash of white wine (leaving the marinade and morels) – cook down for two minutes.
  9. Pour morels and sauce over dish. Garnish with the rest of the basil.
  10. Enjoy!


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