Scallops on the Stovetop


Scallops: Super Easy!
Scallops are not inexpensive; in my area they go for at least $20 a pound. So it can be a little intimidating to cook them; what if you mess up such an expensive dinner?

This is the beautiful thing about scallops, though; once you understand how quickly they are cooked, you’ll never mess them up. They take just 4 to 5 minutes to cook — that’s it!

1 1/2 pounds sea scallops (or 4 to 5 scallops per person)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

Large stainless steel skillet
Tongs or a thin spatula

1.) Remove side-muscles: The side-muscle is a little tag of muscle tissue on the side of the scallop that secures it to the shell. It will feel a bit tough and its fibers run opposite the rest of the scallop. Just pinch it with your thumb and first finger and pull it away. If you miss one, don’t worry; they’re a little tough to chew, but are safe to eat.
2.) Pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper: Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper.
3.) Heat the pan: Heat the butter or olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat. When the a few flecks of water evaporate on contact, the pan is ready.
4.) Add the scallops to the pan: Place the scallops in the pan in a single layer, spaced about an inch apart. The first scallop should sizzle on contact. If it doesn’t, wait a few seconds to let the pan heat before adding the rest. Do not crowd the pan; work in batches if necessary.
5.) Cook the scallops for 2 minutes, then flip: Cook the scallops without moving them for 2 minutes, then flip them over. If the scallop doesn’t release easily from the pan, let it cook for another few seconds until it does.  Cook the scallops for another 2 to 3 minutes: Cook the scallops on the second side for another 2 to 3 minutes without moving. Both sides of the scallop should be seared golden brown and the sides should look opaque all the way through. The scallops should feel firm to the touch, but still slightly soft, like well-set Jello; do not overcook or the scallops become tough and chewy.
6.) Serve immediately: Serve the scallops immediately while they are still warm.

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