Lovely and delicate, scallops are a delicious favorite to pair with great conversation on date night. A light salad, simple greens and crusty bread for the extra pan sauce, are excellent companions.
When prepping, note the scallops need to be as dry as possible. Blot delicately between paper towels at least twice. Place on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Because of the quick cook time, any dishes or other dinner prep should be complete before searing, as once the pan sauce is created, the scallops should be served immediately. Enjoy!
Seared Scallops with Pan Sauce
- 1 to 1 ½ pounds scallops, which is 4 to 5 scallops per person
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Tip: Remove side-muscles first. It’s a small tag of muscle tissue on back of scallop that adheres it to shell. Its fibers run opposite of the rest of the scallop. Pinch with thumb and fore finger and give it a small tug. It will pull away.
- Pat dry, more than once if necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. When your pan is ready, add scallops a single layer about an inch apart, not crowding the pan.
- They cook quickly, about two minutes, when golden brown, flip with spatula or tongs.
- Cook until deep golden brown about 2 to 3 minutes, until just firm and opaque. Do not over cook. Top and bottom of your scallops should be golden brown and when you look at the sides, they should be opaque all the way through. Transfer to plate immediately.
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Reduce heat to medium-low, whisk 3 tablespoons lemon juice into the skillet. Scrape browned bits. Add 2 tablespoons cold butter, adding a few cubes at a time, whisking constantly until just melted. Whisk in ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Drizzle over scallops on plate and serve immediately.
- Garnish with parsley
Note: Because scallops cook so quickly, all of the other elements to your meal should be completed before you begin searing.