Pan Seared Scallops
Scallops are a staple for the city of New Bedford. As the city of the number one commercial fishing port, you are able to get the freshest scallops to make for a perfect recipe. While it is difficult to trace the precise history of pan-seared scallops in Portugal, the country has a rich culinary tradition that heavily features seafood due to its extensive coastline. Scallops and other shellfish have been part of the Portuguese diet for centuries, and Portugal has played a role in the development and popularization of various scallop dishes.
1 lb scallops
1 cup butter
3-4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary Salt to taste
Pepper to taste Lemon juice to taste
Before you cook your scallops, you want to rinse them and clean them of any sand. Make sure you pat dry the scallops before cooking them so they can brown nicely
Melt your butter in your drop in your garlic and rosemary. Once the butter, garlic, and rosemary have blended together remove your rosemary and add in your scallops. Scallops typically cook fast, so you need to keep an eye on them.
Baste each side of the scallops and sear them for about 2-3 minutes on each side until it becomes a beautiful golden color. Garnish with fresh lemon juice.
Pan-seared scallops are a delicious and elegant dish that can be prepared easily with the right technique. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your scallops turn out perfect:
- Choose fresh, high-quality scallops: Look for plump, firm, and slightly translucent scallops that smell fresh and briny, with a hint of sweetness. Avoid any that appear dry, discolored, or have a strong fishy odor.
- Pat dry thoroughly: Use paper towels to pat the scallops completely dry before cooking. Excess moisture can cause the scallops to steam instead of sear, which will prevent a golden crust from forming.
- Remove the side muscle: Some scallops come with a small, tough muscle attached to the side. Gently peel it off and discard before cooking.
- Preheat the pan: Use a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast iron pan, and preheat it on medium-high heat until hot. A well-heated pan will help create a nice sear on the scallops.
- Use high-smoke point oil: Choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as grapeseed, avocado, or light olive oil. This will prevent the oil from burning and producing an unpleasant taste.
- Season the scallops: Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper just before cooking. Be cautious not to over-season, as scallops have a delicate flavor.
- Place scallops in the pan: Add the scallops to the hot pan, ensuring they don’t touch each other. Overcrowding the pan will cause the temperature to drop and the scallops to steam instead of sear.
- Sear without moving: Allow the scallops to sear undisturbed for about 1.5-2 minutes per side, depending on their size. A golden crust should form, and the scallops should release easily from the pan when they’re ready to be flipped.
- Cook until opaque: Cook the scallops until they’re opaque and have an internal temperature of around 130°F (54°C). Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery.
- Optional – Finish with butter and herbs: For added flavor, you can finish the scallops with a bit of butter, fresh herbs (such as thyme or parsley), and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add the butter to the pan after flipping the scallops, and spoon it over the scallops as they finish cooking.
- Rest and serve: Remove the scallops from the pan, and let them rest for a minute or two before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a tender and juicy texture. Enjoy your pan-seared scallops with your favorite side dish or over a bed of greens.