Tag: Scallops

Seared Sea Scallops

seared sea scallops

Scallops are not only easy to prepare, they make a very elegant presentation. Delicate and sweet, yet rich and satisfying. The key to success is to sear the scallops in a very hot pan, which creates a beautiful brown outer crust. These can be served solo, or with a butter sauce poured over. We often serve them on top of pasta with pesto sauce. The key to succulent scallops is not to overcook them because they turn into tough, chewy, unpalatable discs.

How to Purchase Scallops

Fresh, untreated scallops are slightly cream-colored and sometime with a pinkish hue and should smell fresh, never briny, sour, or like iodine. Bright white scallops have been chemically treated also known as “wet scallops,” which makes them too moist to get a golden-brown sear and gives them an unpleasant taste. There are also fake scallops sold, look for the muscle on the side of the scallop, if it’s missing, it’s probably an imitation. This mollusk is highly perishable and should be used within a day or two of purchase. Store in the package they come in and refrigerator immediately; the less you handle them until you’re ready to cook, the better.

Scallops are sorted by size. Sea scallops are large and thick, bay scallops are tiny and are more appropriate in a poach or quick sauté to prevent drying out. The sign “U-10” or “U-20” means that the scallops are “under 10 per pound” or “under 20 per pound,” etc. with bay scallops being the smallest.

Searing Sea Scallops

An hour or two before cooking, open the package, place in a colander, peel away the small muscle attached to the side and discard. Rinse again and let drain in the strainer for a few minutes.

seared sea scallops removing the muscle

Line a plate or platter large enough to hold the scallops without touching with paper towel.

seared sea scallops prepped

Place the scallops on the tray leaving a little space between each one, cover with more paper towel and gently, very gently, press the paper towel onto the scallops. Store in the refrigerator.

seared sea scallops prepped

Drying the scallops of excess moisture makes it easier to sear them quickly and get a nice brown crust on the top and bottom without overcooking them.

Use a pastry brush dipped into a little olive oil to brush a non-stick skillet or griddle. Place over high heat.

seared sea scallops greasing pan

Fetch your scallops from the refrigerator and remove the top paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Once the skillet/griddle is hot, place the scallops seasoned side down and lightly sprinkle the tops with more salt and pepper.

Cook on high until the scallop has developed a nicely browned crust. Turn and cook another minute or two until that side has a nicely browned crust. The center of a cooked scallop should still be a little translucent and moist.

creamed kale and leeks with seared scallops

Serve these with our Creamed Kale and Leeks.

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Seared Sea Scallops

seared sea scallops

Sea scallops are low in calories, cook quickly, and go with a variety of sauces besides a butter sauce. Try pesto, tomato sauce, or salsa for variety.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Seafood
Scale

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds sea scallops
kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper
olive oil

Instructions

An hour or two before cooking, open the package, place in a colander, peel away the small muscle attached to the side and discard. Rinse again and let drain in the strainer for a few minutes.

Line a plate or platter large enough to hold the scallops without touching with paper towel.

Place the scallops on the tray leaving a little space between each one, cover with more paper towel and gently, very gently, press the paper towel onto the scallops. Store in the refrigerator.

Drying the scallops of excess moisture makes it easier to sear them quickly and get a nice brown crust on the top and bottom without overcooking them.

Use a pastry brush dipped into a little olive oil to brush a non-stick skillet or griddle. Place over high heat.

Fetch your scallops from the refrigerator and remove the top paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Once the skillet/griddle is hot, place the scallops seasoned side down and lightly sprinkle the tops with more salt and pepper.

Cook on high until the scallop has developed a nicely browned crust. Turn and cook another minute or two until that side has a nicely browned crust. The center of a cooked scallop should still be a little translucent and moist.

Serve these with our Creamed Kale and Leeks.

Keywords: scallops, cooking scallops, selecting scallops, scallop sizes, bay scallops, sea scallops

1 ½ pounds sea scallops
kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil