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Cooking Perfectly Seared Scallops

November 6, 2018
Cooking Perfectly Seared Scallops

This guide and photos were provided by Sally Roeckell of Table and Dish and were originally published at 365Barrington.com.

A plate full of seafood is what delicious dinnertime dreams are made of, and today I’m dreaming of perfectly seared scallops. Seafood is a great mealtime solution because it’s a perfect balance of tasty and healthy and the variety ranges from classic fresh salmon to shrimp and scallops. Although delicious, many times we avoid cooking seafood for ourselves because we think it’s too difficult or simply don’t know where to start.

In reality, cooking seafood is easier than you think, all you need is a set of easy tips to follow. Today, I’m sharing my foolproof guide for searing scallops that’s so easy you’ll wonder why you ever thought it was difficult in the first place.

Searing Scallops  101

Prep

  • Start by blotting scallops dry with a paper towel. When you have the option, opt for dry scallops. The wet variety is more likely to steam in the pan, not sear. To avoid this, make sure you blot them dry.

Cooking

  • Heat ghee* in a cast-iron skillet or stainless steel pan over medium-high heat. Season the scallops immediately before placing them into the pan. If the salt sits on the scallops too long, it will draw moisture out and will be more likely to steam instead of sear. Add the scallops to the pan.
  • Allow them to sear in the pan without touching them. If the initial bond between the scallop and the pan is broken within the first minutes, they will not caramelize well. Look for a browned crust to form on the very bottom of the scallops, about 2 minutes. Flip and sear again on the other side for an additional 2 minutes. Don’t overcook the scallops. Remember that they will continue to cook even after they have been removed from heat.

Quick Tip: Heat the ghee in the pan until it is very hot before adding the scallops. I love cooking them in ghee because it gives them a buttery flavor that holds up to high temperatures. Ghee is stable up to 480°F. Scallops are most delicious when they have a nice brown crust on either side, and are just barely cooked through in the middle.

Looking for a recipe to try your new scallop searing skills? I recommend this delicious Scallop Thai Tom Kha.

By Sally Roeckell
Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography. She has photographed people, food and life all over the US and in Spain, Basque Country, The South of France and Paris. She regularly shops at Heinen’s for the family dishes she features on 365 Barrington and on her website at TableAndDish.com.

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