Simple Seared Scallops
Searing scallops is the most common way they’re served in restaurants, but it’s an easy method to duplicate at home. If preparing Tarragon Butter Sauce to accompany these, make sure to have all your ingredients measured and prepped before searing, as the scallops cook in just a couple minutes.
Rinse and pat scallops dry with paper towels, and season generously with salt and pepper. Preheat a cast iron or stainless steel sauté pan, and add the oil and butter. Heat the oil until it shimmers, then place the scallops in the pan so they’re not touching. Don’t touch them again until you are ready to flip.
Sear scallops until a golden crust forms, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes on the first side. Gently flip scallops over and cook for 30 to 90 seconds. They should have a golden crust on each side while their centers remain slightly translucent; scallops will continue to cook a little once removed from the heat.
Place scallops on a warm plate if preparing a sauce, or serve immediately.
Note: If using fresh scallops, remove the small side muscle before cooking; these will toughen tremendously if cooked. Typically, they have already been removed with frozen scallops.