1¼ pounds large sea scallops, tough ligament discarded
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, divided
¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper combined
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
1. Pat scallops thoroughly dry with paper towel.
2. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sear scallops, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Place scallops on a serving platter.
4. Add shallot, wine, and vinegar to skillet and boil, scraping up brown bits, until reduced to 2 tablespoons.
5. Add juices accumulated from the scallops platter and reduce again until liquid is not more than ¼ cup.
6. Reduce heat to low and add 3 tablespoons butter, stirring until almost melted, then add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and swirl until incorporated and sauce has a creamy consistency.
7. Stir in tarragon. Add salt if necessary. Pour sauce over scallops and serve.