Seared scallops

Wow, almost three months since the last post! You are owed an explanation (see end of post!).

Tonight, I made seared scallops, partly because they’re so easy to make and partly because we just got back from a week at North Carolina’s Outer Banks and wanted to hang on to that vacation feeling just a little while longer.

Start with three-quarters of a pound of fresh sea scallops (about 12 scallops). Rinse them and blot dry. At this point, begin pre-heating (over medium-high to high heat) a large sauté pan on the stove top (no oil in it just yet!).

Check each individual scallop to see if the muscle is still attached. If it is, remove it. Here’s what that muscle will look like:

It’ll be a rectangular object on the perimeter side of the scallop, slightly different in color and texture. They are generally pretty easy to remove either by peeling them off with your fingers or using a paring knife. Once the scallops are trimmed, mix 1/4 cup of flour, 1/8 teaspoon of ground sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning (a Maryland regional seasoning of celery salt, ground red and black pepper, and paprika — most frequently used on boiled crabs). 

To ensure that the scallops are thoroughly coated, I use a large ziplock bag for the flour, spice, and salt.

Once they’re added, mix them up in the bag to combine thoroughly.

Now, add the scallops to the bag, zip closed, and shake to coat. Then remove and put back onto a non-absorptive cutting board.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of avocado oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to the hot sauté pan, and heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Now add the scallops to the pan.

Sear for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes ONLY. (I always use a timer to avoid overcooking them.) Now, flip to the other side.

Add a little extra olive oil if needed. Use an oven mitt to jiggle the pan around so that the scallops roll against the hot sides — this will make sure that the sides of the scallops are also seared.

Cook on this second side for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes (but no more!). Remove from heat and place on a serving plate or cutting board.

I like to serve these with just a light dollop of wasabi-horseradish sauce (shown above). Another alternative is to pour about 1/4 cup of dessert wine, such as the Chateau Kalian, into the hot pan to reduce along with the pan drippings, then pour it over the scallops just before serving.

We served this tonight with Slater Run Vineyards’ Rosé, a dry Provençal-style rosé from Loudoun County. It also went well last week with Slater Run’s Chardonnay (also with the Chateau Kalian as described above). However you choose to serve it, this is a 10-minute meal that’s elegant and delicious. Cheers!

Oh, and here’s the explanation: I’ve been enrolled in a professional coaching program at George Mason University since February. It’s wonderful but very time-consuming, given that I’m still working full-time. This is going to be my next professional occupation so I’m pouring everything into it. That means, unfortunately, less time for recipes and cooking and wine pairings. But now that the end of the program is in sight, I’m trying to turn back to things like this blog, which has been so enjoyable on multiple levels.

Again, cheers!


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Filed under General, On Wine, Recipes, wine pairings

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