Cook Pan-seared Sea Scallops

By Helen Triolo, last updated 5/7/13 11:37am

Photo credit Helen Triolo  

One of my favorite dinners anywhere is the Pan Seared Sea Scallop pasta at S&P Oyster Company in Mystic, Connecticut.  So when I found out that fresh sea scallops are available right down the street at Cameron’s Seafood (get directions here), I figured it was time to learn how to cook them right myself.

Scallops are tricky because they get tough if you overcook them but don't have the right springy al dente texture if undercooked.  But cooked just right, they’re tender and delicious.  They always sound expensive to me too, but a quarter pound of scallops on a dish of al dente pasta is just about the perfect amount and not too expensive at all.  This is how I prepared the ones in this photo
  • Rinse the scallops and pat dry with a towel.

  • Sprinkle with coarse salt (and any other seasoning you like).

  • Heat a couple tablespoons of “better butter” (half butter, half canola oil) until the oil is quite hot (sizzling when you sprinkle water in it).

  • Place the scallops in the pan and leave them in place for about 2 minutes.  Resist the urge to push them around in the pan, since then they will not brown as nicely.

  • When you peek under a scallop and it is a pretty golden brown color, flip the scallops (I used tongs) and cook them for another 2 minutes on the other side.

That’s it.  Loosen scallops with a spatula if needed and slide out of the pan. Serve quickly, while they are still hot!

Here the scallops are served with white rice and some sauteed mixed sesame garlic greens from Dawson’s Market (get directions here), and a glass of Les Alliés Sauvignon Blanc from Tiger Beer & Wine.

Filed under Home & Garden

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