This was my first attempt ~ that I can recall ~ at searing scallops and I am happy with how they turned out. Scallops are so delicate that I’ve been intimidated by them in the kitchen, thinking I’d overcook them and have such a pricey treat go into the garbage.
Today I decided to go for it, keeping them in the pan for only a minute on each side and then placing them in the oven for another minute or two and that’s it. A simple sauce came together in no time as did the capellini. I had roasted up some zucchini, grape tomatoes and garlic cloves earlier in the day so they made a lovely accompaniment to the Italian flavor of the sauce.
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, microplaned
- 1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- splash white wine
- 1 pound dry pack bay scallops
- olive oil and butter for frying
- splash lemon juice
- grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large skillet, heat the 1/2 stick butter and 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat; add the garlic and a generous pinch of s&p. After cooking the garlic for a few minutes, add the tomato paste.
Stir well to incorporate the paste and let it cook for about 5 minutes, then add the wine. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, turning down the heat if the butter is foaming too much, then transfer the sauce to a bowl. Stir in the splash of lemon juice and set aside.
In the same skillet, add a bit of oil and butter and turn up the heat to medium-high. When the pan is good and hot again, add the scallops and lightly sprinkle each with a bit of s&p. Turn them over after about a minute or so, then only keep them on for another minute.
Take them off the heat immediately and add the sauce back to the pan. This will slow the cooking down and keep moisture in while you get ready to put them in the oven. I just make a foil pack shaped like a bowl on a baking sheet, with double foil so the sauce won’t leak out.
Gently place the scallops in the foil then pour the sauce over them; sprinkle each scallop with a bit of the parmesan and place the sheet with foil open into the oven for about two minutes.
That’s it! The sauce is light enough to allow the delicate scallops to shine, but complex enough to make things interesting. Serve with your favorite pasta and some roasted veggies and you’ve got a fancy meal that takes barely any time to whip up.