Monday, March 4, 2013

Butter-Fried Sea Scallops

I've mentioned it before, but, up in Huntsville, AL, there's a FANTASTIC seafood market called "A & V Seafood Market", just off of Cecil Ashburn in the same shopping center as "I Love Sushi". They've got a FAR better selection and prices compared to the numerous seafood vendors here in Birmingham, so I always pick up something from them whenever I visit Huntsville with my parents. 

This past weekend, I picked up some AMAZING sea scallops (from Boston), along with some sushi-grade tuna loin. Since these were top-quality scallops, I knew that they had to be prepared simply and delicately. So, I decided on an easy butter-sear! 

Scallops are amazingly easy and quick to prepare - do NOT be afraid to let them sear without touching or moving them! You can serve these with simple sides such as light salad, or plain pasta, or, do what I do and simply serve the scallops alongside some crusty baguette slices!

If using frozen scallops, thaw them in the fridge overnight, or in a bowl of cold water that you change every 10-15 minutes. Do NOT use the microwave to defrost them!! Also, make sure your scallops are DRY before cooking - wet scallops will simply steam and exude liquid; they won't get that delicious sear!

Butter-Fried Sea Scallops
adapted from The Hungry Mouse

1 lb fresh sea scallops, patted dry with paper towels
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 - 1/2 cup dry white wine

Heat the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pluck the thyme leaves from the sprigs and add them to the melted butter.

Add the scallops to the melted butter, spacing them out evenly and making sure none are touching. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, and let cook for 2-3 minutes, without touching or moving them, in order to let them sear and develop a nice crust.

Flip the scallops with tongs and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Add the white wine to the pan to deglaze, and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat off, and leave the pan on the burner for 2-3 minutes to finish cooking the scallops. 

The scallops are done when they are firm (not squishy), and the inside is opaque but moist.

Serve the scallops with the little bit of pan juices that remain (most of the wine will evaporate, so there won't be a true *sauce*). I chose to serve mine atop some perciatelli!


  1. I love scallops possibly more than any other seafood. I'm definitely trying this.

    My poor father once decided he'd make us a treat: Scallops for dinner. He boiled them. I'm sure you know this, but for anyone else who might read it: Do not ever boil scallops.

    We tried so hard to chew our way through things but it was like eating gum erasers. It's still a family joke 30 years later.

  2. Julia, they look perfect! You should try them with the orange bits left on - that is really nice. Cheers