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Searing Scallops


Scallops are a good choice for quick summer meals, as a starter course or light main course. The larger, marshmallow-sized ones are sea scallops (as opposed to bay scallops), and the key to cooking them is to give them a nice sear. If your scallops often turn out watery when you cook them, here are some cooking tips:

First of all, watery scallops may not be your fault. Make sure the scallops you get are dry packed and have not been plumped up with water. Look your fish person in the eye and ask him to level with you. Once you get your scallops home rinse them well. And now comes the really important part: dry every single scallop well, with a clean paper or dish towel.

Get your skillet really hot, if you have a cast iron pan use it, drizzle with a high smoke point oil like grape seed oil or clarified butter. When the oil is hot, gently lay down the scallops. Do not crowd them (you might have to cook them in several batches).

Do not move the scallops until you are sure they have developed the golden crust you are looking for, then flip them and cook until they are done. Season liberally with salt and pepper.


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