When scallops go on sale at your local grocer, pounce!!! Buy hefty medium to large sized scallops. The little ones cook too fast and become chewy. The super duper large ones you will end up paying a fortune for, but they don’t cook as even. The outsides get overcooked and the middle is almost raw. Anyway, this is the ideal size in the picture shown below. I buy about 8 or 9 for a meal for 2. (4 each and 1 extra for me for my trouble hee hee)
Leave them alone in their own juices until you are ready to cook ’em. Keep in mind they will only last about a day or 2 in the fridge. When it’s go-time, rince them each under running water and dry with paper towels.
Use cast iron. It’s not only the sexiest looking pan you can get, but it heats evenly as good or better than any fancy expensive cookware out there. Add like maybe 1.5 or 2 tablespoons of butter to a cold pan. Set heat to medium and watch the butter melt while trying not to drool in the pan. *If you are a garlic person, add minced garlic. I don’t reeeeeally notice a big taste difference in the scallops afterward, but it will smell incredible and you can add in sautéed garlic to your main dish afterwards.*
When you add in your butter, cut it up in pieces like shown in the photo. That way you don’t have some butter burning while there is still a cold chunk waiting to be melted. It melts quicker and even-er (I know that’s not a word but it works).
When the butter is melted and lightly sizzling and the garlic (if you added it) is smelling delish, add your scallops. Note – if your butter is full on bubbling, turn your heat down!! You’re gonna burn your butta baby! Add you scallops so they are laying flat, not on their sides.
HERE’S THE SECRET TO A PERFECTLY COOKED SCALLOP…………….
Cover them scallops up! Cover with a pan lid and turn the heat slightly down. They will cook much more efficiently and evenly. You are making like a mini-oven. After the first minute, check on scallops every 30-45 seconds.
As soon as you see the tops looking matte and the scallops starting to have little “cracks”, they are ready to hit the flip side. Flip them over for about a minute. Do not cover when they are flipped. They are already cooked through at this point, you are just browning the other side for extra tastiness and that yummy scallop texture.
There you have it! Delicious and nutritious perfect pan seared scallops! Serve and eat right away, they tend to get cold fairly quickly. Always make last after whatever else you are serving them with. Scallops go fantastic in any pasta, cream or tomato based, salads or as a yummy side over asparagus!
~with love, Chelsey P