Steak and Scallops (Surf and Turf)

Enjoy a classic Surf and Turf dinner at home with this easy Steak and Scallops. Everything–from the filet to the white wine sauce-is made in a cast iron skillet and finished in less than 30 minutes!

This recipe is sponsored by Ohio Beef Council. As always, all opinions are my own.

Closeup of filet and scallops in a skillet with white win sauce.

Eating out on Valentine’s Day is always a bit of a hassle, but with the pandemic still growing on, this year gives us another excuse to cozy up for a romantic dinner at home.

Don’t let cooking a fancy dinner at home intimidate you! It’s much easier than you think! This Surf and Turf recipe delivers juicy seared steak, tender scallops, and a buttery rosemary and garlic pan sauce in the time it would take you to pick up takeout.

What is Surf and Turf?

Before we dive into the recipe, we should probably clarify what exactly we mean when we say Surf and Turf. You’ve probably seen it on a restaurant menu before, but what exactly IS it?

Surf and Turf is a meal, often reserved for special occasions, including an entree from both the land (turf) and the sea (surf).

Typically, steak fills the role of “turf,” and the “surf” can be anything from shrimp to a lobster tail to scallops, which is what we’ll be using today!

Our goal is to help you feel totally confident preparing a restaurant quality Surf n Turf dinner at home!

The recipe is all made in a cast iron skillet and broken down into three parts:

  1. Sear and cook the steaks.
  2. Sear the scallops.
  3. Prepare the pan sauce.

Below, we’ll break down each step with plenty of tips so you can be a Steak and Scallops master!

Ingredients for a surf and turf meal displayed on a cutting board- steak, scallops, butter, garlic, wine, shallots, and rosemary.

How to Cook the Perfect Steak

You can use any steak of your choice for this surf and turf recipe, but we highly recommend filet mignon.

Filet, with its elegant round shape and tender, buttery texture, has special occasion written all over it. Ribeye is also a good choice (we love it in this Cast Iron Ribeye with Mushrooms).

There are many great ways to cook a filet, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll be pan searing it in a cast iron skillet.

Here are some tips to get the absolute BEST seared steak:

  • Remove the steak from the fridge at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before cooking. Allowing the steak to come to room temperature helps it cook more evenly.
  • Season the steak with plenty of Kosher salt while it rests. As it sits, the salt will slowly draw moisture to the surface of the steak, then reabsorb it, drawing all the flavor of the salt into the interior of the meat. This results in BIG flavor with minimal effort.
  • Sear the steaks in a very hot pan with oil, cooking them undisturbed until they have a nice golden crust. A 2 inch thick steak will take 6-7 minutes per side for medium rare.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure your steaks are cooked just the way you like them. Check out this quick guide on testing beef for doneness.
  • Tent the steaks with foil and allow them to rest while you cook the rest of the meal! This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat before slicing.
Filet mignon and sea scallops in a cast iron skillet

How to Cook Scallops

One of the reasons I love scallops is because they’re so incredibly quick to cook. Seared in a hot skillet, the scallops will take only 2-3 minutes from start to finish.

Keep the seasoning simple with just Kosher salt and pepper, then sear the scallops in butter for 6-90 seconds, flip, and sear an additional minute or so.

Scallops are cooked when they are opaque on the outside and firm but still a bit jiggly, sort of like a Jello jiggler!

How to Make a Pan Sauce for Steak and Scallops

Once the scallops are cooked and removed from the skillet, we can move on to the really simple pan sauce. While steak is often paired with red wine, we prefer a lighter white wine, garlic, and butter sauce to marry the steak and seafood together.

  • Add another blob of butter to the hot skillet and melt. Add a handful of chopped shallots, cooking until translucent, or 3-4 minutes.
  • Add some minced garlic and sizzle until fragrant.
  • Add a generous splash of white wine to the skillet and use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Stir in 3/4 cup of water and simmer another 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to low, and melt another 3 Tablespoons of butter into the sauce.
  • Nestle the steak and scallops back into the pan and serve!
Two filet mignon steaks and sea scallops in a skillet with white wine pan sauce.

Surf and Turf Sides

My favorite sides for steak and scallops are an easy garden salad and a loaf of crusty bread for sopping up the pan juices. That Good Salad or the 1905 Salad is also an excellent choice.

If you really want to go all out on the decadence, pair Surf and Turf with Creamy Mashed Potatoes or the Best Creamy Mac and Cheese.

Need more veggies? Try these Garlic Green Beans, Pan Fried Asparagus, or Sauteed Green Beans with Tomatoes.

Two gold rimmed plates with steak and scallops, plus bread slices and butter on the side.

What Wine to Serve with Steak and Seafood

We usually like to drink the same white wine we used for the sauce with our dinner. We’ve tested with both a Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, and slightly preferred the Sauvignon Blanc.

If you prefer a red, go with something with low tannin to avoid overpowering the delicate flavor of the scallops. A Pinot Noir is a great option.

And, since we’re talking Valentine’s Day, champagne is a great match for nearly anything, and Surf N Turf is the perfect excuse to pop a bottle of bubbly!

Learn more tips about pairing wine and beef here.

Sliced filet mignon in a cast iron skillet with scallops.

More Special Occasion Beef Recipes

We all love beef for Valentine’s Day, but did you know beef farmers also love the planet? America’s beef farming industry has one of the smallest carbon footprints in the world, 10 to 50 times lower than some other nations. Ohio beef farmers are committed to preserving the environment for future generations by using environmentally friendly farming practices.

Visit www.OhioBeef.org, and follow the Ohio Beef Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for beef nutrition facts, cooking tips, recipes and to meet Ohio’s beef farming families. Use #OhioBeef to share photos of the recipes you make this Valentine’s Day!

Sliced steak with pink center in a skillet with scallops.

Steak and Scallops

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Gorgeous pan seared Steak and Scallops is paired with a quick white wine pan sauce for an easy Surf and Turf recipe you can make at home!

Ingredients

  • 2 (6-8 oz) filet mignon steaks
  • 8 sea scallops
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

  1. About 30-40 minutes before cooking, remove the steaks and scallops from the fridge. Generously season the steak on both sides with Kosher salt and allow both the steak and scallops to come to room temperature.
  2. Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add fresh cracked pepper to the steaks. When the pan is very hot, add the steak and cook, undisturbed, for about 5-6 minutes. The bottom should have a nice golden sear on it.
  3. Flip the steaks and cook the other side for another 5-6 minutes for medium rare, or about 135 degrees. If you have a thicker steak, it might require an additional few minutes on each side to reach temperature.
  4. Remove the steaks from the pan to a plate and tent with foil while you cook the remaining ingredients.
  5. Season the scallops with Kosher salt and pepper. Add a Tablespoon of butter to the hot skillet and add the scallops, cooking for about 60-90 seconds, then flipping and cooking an additional minute. The scallops should be opaque on the sides and firm but still a bit jiggly--like a Jello jiggler. Remove the scallops to the plate with the steak.
  6. Add another Tablespoon of butter to the skillet and add the shallots. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and allow to sizzle for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the wine. As it sizzles, use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Stir in the water and rosemary and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and melt the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.
  8. Either return the steak and scallops to the pan, or plate them, spooning the pan sauce over top.

Did you make this recipe?

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2 Comments

  1. Made this last night for my Main Squeeze. Came out SO professional-looking! I’ve never prepared Filet Mignon before but your video made it look easy enough for me to attempt it so I splurged and bought the meat (on sale). Couldn’t find fresh scallops but the frozen sea scallops were still very yummy. My scallops weren’t quite as large as the ones you used so they were done after 1 minute on each side. This was the first time my scallops did NOT turn out rubbery due to over-cooking. Thanks so much for making a gourmet meal do-able by those of us who are not gourmet chefs! Watching the video on YouTube helped because of the hints you gave along the way.

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