Scallops are by far one of my favorite foods… when searing a scallop, I generally will forgo any type of heavy sauce or seasoning – with the intention of allowing the scallop to be the star of the show.
When choosing seafood, fresh is always best. Always.
However, do not be discouraged if fresh is not always available - you can buy scallops frozen, or previously frozen, almost anywhere. When purchasing, be absolutely certain that the scallops are ‘dry packed.’ What this means is that your scallops have no additives… they were just simply frozen. Avoid “wet packed” scallops, as they have been treated with a chemical (STPP) that causes the scallops to absorb and retain moisture. Not only is consuming attended chemicals dangerous to your health, but the STPP also alters the flavor of the scallop, as well as impossible to attain a brilliant sear of golden crunch.
Aka- it’s just not good. Period.
I would recommend purchasing either large Fresh Sea Scallops or Dry Packed Sea Scallops. If they are frozen, be sure to completely thaw them (running under cold water), then rinse and dry before cooking. Is it essential that the scallops be dry before searing. If there is too much moisture, then they will simply boil, as opposed to fashioning a golden crust from bubbling browned butter (aka – ‘beurre noisette.’)
When cooking scallops, I gravitate towards butter (I know… not as healthy as olive or coconut oil; but definitely the most complimentary flavor in allowing the scallop to shine as the “belle of the ball” – or rather, the “Amphitrite of the sea?”)
Either way… rather than serving pasta of potatoes with scallops, I enjoy playing with texture… since a scallop should be slightly sweet and slightly salty, vegetables are brilliant accruements. I recently paired scallops with a cauliflower/leek puree – leaving the puree slightly chunky in order to create more of a textural playground.
Seriously… where I come up with these descriptions… I’ll never know. Just go with me here… :)
Toss cauliflower (cut into small florets) with walnut oil, smoked sea salt, herbs de Provence, lemon juice and a hint of cayenne… then allow to roast at 400 degree until tender. Using my Vitamex, I blended to a rough chop, then added a touch of 0% plain Greek yogurt in order to smooth the texture (but still maintain a bit of a crunch).
Final touches a parsley garnish, drizzle of walnut oil and touch of love.
"Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music."
- Julia Child
Life is beautiful. Live, laugh, love… and cook.