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Sea Scallops with Sherry and Saffron Couscous


Seared sea scallops are served over Moroccan couscous (instead of rice) infused with the flavors of its cooking liquid: sherry, chicken stock, saffron, thyme, and butter.

  • Servings: 4

Photography: LISA HUBBARD

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2001


  • 1 pound sea scallops, muscles removed and discarded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 cups couscous


  1. Season scallops on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add scallops (work in batches; use remaining oil if necessary, depending on size of pan); cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 1 minute on each side. When cooked, pour off any fat remaining in pan. Set aside scallops on a plate covered with foil.

  2. Return pan to heat. Deglaze pan with sherry, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until sherry is reduced by two-thirds. Add stock, butter, saffron, thyme, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; add couscous. Cover the pan; remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover; fluff with a fork; adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with scallops.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Smoothis
    10 MAY, 2009
    The first part of my comment didn't post, and I didn't save it. Basically, the scallops were entirely too salty. And when I made the couscous, I scraped out more than 3/4 of the brown bits from the pan first, and I didn't add the additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and it was still to salty. I have tried many of Martha's recipes, and
  • Smoothis
    10 MAY, 2009
    they've all been fabulous, but this really fell well below the bar.