Particularly when I’m cooking for myself, scallops are one of my go-to’s for a surprisingly quick and easy dinner in under 15 minutes. They are also a great source of protein! I often will buy a pound of scallops and keep them in the freezer so they are on hand in a pinch. Usually I’ll take them out the night before or the morning of and place them in the fridge to defrost. If I need them to defrost within a few hours, I’ll place them in a ziploc bag in lukewarm water.
A couple of key pointers to cooking scallops successfully:
Remove the “foot” of the scallop- it’s a small piece on the side of most scallops that is tougher and not very pleasant to eat. It’s easy to remove with your hands.
Pat your scallops dry with a paper towel before searing. The dryer the scallop, the better it will sear and brown.
Start on medium-high heat and be generous on your butter/ghee/oil for good browning.
I’ll usually serve these scallops with some variation of vegetables and pasta/rice. The vegetables can be changed in many ways- I’ll often just use what I have on hand. I’ve done everything from spinach, carrots, and zucchini with a bit of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and sesame oil to what I have here, which was spiralized zucchini leftover roasted cauliflower, leftover chickpea pasta, and Rao’s garden vegetable sauce, which is a red-based sauce with some veggies already in it (I highly recommend it!).
Easy Weeknight Dinner: Seared Scallops
Serves 2 (with a large serving of veggies!)
1/2 pound scallops
1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s seasoned buffalo ghee (seriously- it adds a ton of flavor and is really good!)- you can also use regular ghee or butter though
sea salt and pepper
Place a heavier saute pan (I will use my cast iron one for this) over medium-high heat. Add in ghee- there should be enough to lightly coat the entire bottom of the pan. Once quite hot, add in scallops- it should sizzle immediately (but not smoke- if it’s smoking it’s too hot). Let scallops sit until brown on one side, about 3 minutes- you only want to flip once if you can. Flip, season with salt and pepper and let sit for about 2-3 minutes on the other side until also brown and the entire scallop has turned from translucent to opaque.
During this time I will often saute my other veggies in an separate pan so I can serve everything at once.