Seared Scallops are one of my favorite meals to bring to the table, especially during the week. There was a point in my life when the only time I enjoyed scallops was when someone else cooked them for me – and oh, what a mistake that was! Scallops are incredibly easy to make and are done in just minutes. I learned quickly that NOT having scallops in my cooking repertoire was a huge mistake, but also a mistake that is easily corrected.
I prefer to use a cast-iron skillet for my scallops as I think it renders the absolute best sear out there. I also use grapeseed oil to coat my skillet as it has a high smoke-point. Scallops, on their own, are bland and must be well-seasoned – the salt and pepper and oil are NOT enough on their own. I love adding rendered duck fat or a high quality butter at the very end to enhance flavor. I always keep duck fat in my freezer for occasions just like scallops.
Getting a sear on the scallops is critical and there are a few things you can do to help ensure this happens. After rinsing your scallops, be sure to pat them dry with paper towels. You also want to be sure your cast-iron gets very hot. Your scallops should sizzle once you drop them in the skillet. Lastly, do not crowd the scallops, and if necessary, sear them in batches depending on the size of your skillet. Scallops that are placed too close together run the risk of steaming.
Perfectly Seared ScallopsDifficulty: Easy
Seared Scallops are one of my favorite week-night meals. They are so versatile and are ready in minutes, making this a seafood go-to you can’t afford to live without.
1 pound dry scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 teaspoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon rendered duck fat or high-quality butter (I use D’Artagnan Rendered Duck Fat)
- Place the grapeseed oil in a medium-sized cast-iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Be sure the cast-iron is very hot to ensure a good sear.
- Liberally salt and pepper the scallops on one side and then place them seasoned-side-down in the cast-iron skillet. Be sure not to crowd the skillet, as scallops placed too close together run the risk of steaming, which can affect the sear. Liberally salt and pepper the other side of each scallop.
- Sear the scallops 2-4 minutes on each side. Add the duck fat during the last 1 minute of searing, using a spoon to thoroughly baste the scallops.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Scallops can be served with so many different sides. I love serving up a fresh salad, pasta, or even simple roasted or steamed vegetables.