Pan-Seared Scallops

There's a new chef in town.
Or maybe the chef just got a new apron. Either way he's really pleased!
Equipped with a new apron to save him from popping oils the chef decided to make some pan-seared scallops served with a fresh salad.

Scallops might be a bit of a daunting challenge for a cook but they're really easy! Once you get past the "wet versus dry" dilemma. The "wet" scallops have been treated in a phosphate solution and absorb water. This isn't good for the sear. A fishmonger should sell "dry" scallops but I don't know where to find one. I think Whole Foods sells "dry" scallops so I will head over that way next time. But for this recipe we ended up with "wet" scallops. To test what kind of scallops you have, place one on a paper towel lined plate and microwave for 15 seconds. If there's a ring of water around the scallop you have a "wet" scallop. Fortunately there is a little trick you can do before you can begin cooking to mask the solution and dry out the scallop. Soak the scallops in 1 quart cold water mixed with 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 tbsp table salt for 30 minutes. Then line the scallops between two paper towels and let it absorb the moisture for at least 10 minutes.

Our "wet" scallops after soaking them and drying them out a paper towel. Don't be deterred by the "wet" scallops, they'll still turn out great!
Now onto the fun stuff... cooking!

Pan-Seared Scallops with White Wine Reduction Sauce
For the scallops:

1 1/2 pounds dry sea scallop , 10 to 20 per pound, small side muscles removed
   (3 scallops is a nice sized portion for someone so I only bought 6 scallops at the counter)
ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Sprinkle scallops on both sides with pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add scallops in single layer, flat-side down, and cook, without moving, until well browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Using tongs, flip scallops; continue to cook, using large spoon to baste scallops with melted butter (tilt skillet so butter runs to one side) until sides of scallops are firm and centers are opaque, 30 to 90 seconds longer (remove smaller scallops as they finish cooking). Transfer scallops to large plate and tent loosely with foil. Wipe out skillet with wad of paper towels and repeat cooking with remaining oil, scallops, and butter. Serve immediately with lemon wedges or sauce.

For the sauce
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 green onions and 1 green garlic, sliced (both from our CSA) may also use shallots
chopped fresh herbs (we used parsley and thyme)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine

Melt butter in skillet used for the scallops, 4-5 minutes or until browning. Stir in onions and garlics and saute for 30 seconds. Add in herbs, lemon juice, and white wine. Make sure to scrape all the brown bits from the scallops. Let the sauce reduce for a few minutes. Remove from heat & serve atop scallops.

Action shot.

1 comment:

  1. Bought fresh scallops at the farmer's mkt today (06/30/12) and looked back in your blog for a recipe. Tried this one and they were cooked perfectly and were delicious.