Scallops don’t have to be just a restaurant treat when they’re so easy to sear beautifully at home. With a few tricks up your sleeve (perfectly dry scallops, simple seasoning, hot oil), you can prepare them impressively, too. Serve seared scallops over cooked pasta or grains, or alongside steamed or grilled vegetables.
To thaw scallops, arrange on a paper towel-lined plate, cover and refrigerate overnight. Alternately, place scallops in a resealable plastic bag and thaw in a bowl of room temperature water, changing water halfway through, about 30 minutes.
Using paper towels, pat scallops very dry and arrange on a plate. Season all over with salt and pepper.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until very hot but not smoking, 1 to 2 minutes. Arrange scallops in skillet in a single layer and cook, without touching, until deep golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Using a small metal spatula, swiftly loosen and flip each scallop. Cook until deep golden brown on the second side and just firm and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate and serve immediately.
For an Easy Sauce After removing cooked scallops from skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and whisk 3 tablespoons lemon juice into the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Add 2 tablespoons cold butter a few cubes at a time and continue whisking constantly until just melted. Whisk in 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Drizzle over scallops. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
What else should I know? - Make scallops for 1 or 10. Just remove and thaw only the scallops you need. - Use this same method to sear all manner of fresh or frozen scallops; for smaller varieties, such as bay scallops, the searing time will be shorter.
Per Serving: Serving size: 3 to 4 scallops, 120 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 630mg sodium, 3g carbohydrates, 10g protein.