Getting the most out of scallops

PCC Taste | June 2014

scallops

Searing scallops is the most common way they're cooked in restaurants, and it's an easy method to duplicate at home. If preparing the sauce, make sure to have all your ingredients measured and prepped before searing, as the scallops cook in just a few minutes.

Restaurant-style scallops in 5 steps

  • Rinse and pat the scallops dry with paper towels, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat a cast iron or stainless steel sauté pan and add a combination of high-heat oil and butter for the best browning and flavor (a total of two tablespoons per pound of scallops).
  • Heat the oil until it shimmers, then place the scallops in the pan so they're not touching. Don't overcrowd the pan, as this will steam rather than sear the scallops. Don't touch them again until you are ready to flip them. Sear the scallops until a golden crust forms, 1½ to 3 minutes on the first side.
  • Gently flip the 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.

Briny and beautiful

Alaska weathervane scallops are firm and sweet, the way these delicate shellfish are meant to be.

While some varieties of scallops are soaked in water or otherwise adulterated, our weathervane scallops are shelled, gently cleaned, trimmed (removing their tough side muscles) and frozen at sea, so they maintain their impeccable straight-from-the-ocean quality. They're harvested on a limited number of boats, which follow strict sustainability guidelines overseen by onboard third party observers.

Weathervane scallops are rated a Best Choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. They're also a very low-fat form of protein, offering omega-3 fatty acids, B12, magnesium and potassium.

More about: cooking techniques, cooking tips, seafood

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