The title doesn’t lie; this is the easiest recipe ever – Seared Sea Scallops. I have always wanted to try making scallops but two things kept me from it: 1.) messing up an expensive ingredient, and 2.) killing Ray, who is allergic to seafood (or so he says). With these two worries in my head, I cinched up my apron, gave Ray a Zyrtec and decided to give it a go.
I bought my sea scallops (these are the larger scallops, the smaller ones are called bay scallops) at Whole “Paycheck” Foods. A little word of caution – ask the fish monger if the scallops have been previously frozen. If they have, just be warned that when cooked they will release a lot more liquid and could make your scallops tough. I could go into the Alton Brown explantation as to why but it would send this post into a spiral of food nerdiness. If frozen scallops are the only way you can buy them, thaw them in the refrigerator and not the counter – keeps the water loss to a minimum and prevents you eating a dollop of seafood bacteria. Enough of the science, let’s sear some scallops.
Seared Sea Scallops
Fresh sea scallops (3 per person for an appetizer or 5 person for a meal)
2 tablespoons oil (I used canola)
1 tablespoon butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Rinse your scallops and pat them dry with a paper towel or tea towel. They need to be dry so the scallops develop a good sear. Sprinkle both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper.
Pre-heat your skillet (I used my lucky cast-iron skillet). Add one to two tablespoons of oil (you just need a very thin layer). Once the oil starts to barely smoke (basically the pan is searing hot), place the scallop in the pan one at a time. Set your timer for one minute – DO NOT push, poke, move, taunt the scallops or you will not get that perfect sear.
After a minute, turn the scallops and set your timer for one minute. At this time, add that tablespoon of butter. As it melts, spoon the melted butter on the scallops. Once time is up, remove the scallops and serve immediately.
Stir-fried veggies with rice – I added my scallops to a rice bowl with stir-fried veggies and a spicy, ginger-citrus glaze. (Picture at top)
Citrus and chive oil – I drizzled the scallops with a combination of red grapefruit, orange and lime juices and topped with chive oil (chives blended with olive oil).
Seriously, this is the easiest and fastest recipe I have ever made. From prep to serving, the scallops took less than 10 minutes. Now what you serve with the scallops – that’s where the mischief begins.
P.S. – For those wondering about Ray’s safety. He did not die from the scallop, smoke filled kitchen. I did make him something good to eat. Using the same stir-fried veggies, I just added chicken to make his rice bowl.
Tags: seared sea scallops