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Scallops Recipe: 5 Delicious Ways to Cook It at Home

Scallops are a delicious and elegant seafood option that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you are looking for an easy seafood recipe or a dish to impress your guests at a dinner party, scallops are a great choice. In this article, we will cover the basics of selecting and preparing scallops, as well as some popular cooking techniques and recipes.

Scallops sizzling in a hot pan with butter, garlic, and herbs, surrounded by lemon wedges and a sprinkle of sea salt

When selecting scallops, it is important to look for fresh, high-quality seafood. You can buy scallops fresh or frozen, but make sure they are not past their expiration date. Before cooking, it is important to properly prepare the scallops by removing the muscle, which can be tough and chewy. Once prepared, scallops can be cooked using a variety of methods, including searing, grilling, or baking.

Whether you prefer your scallops with a simple lemon butter sauce or a creamy garlic sauce, there are plenty of delicious recipes to choose from. With a little bit of practice, you can create a restaurant-quality scallops dish right in your own kitchen. So, let's get started and learn how to make the perfect scallops dish!

Key Takeaways

  • Scallops are a versatile and elegant seafood option that can be cooked in a variety of ways.
  • When selecting and preparing scallops, it is important to choose fresh, high-quality seafood and properly remove the muscle before cooking.
  • There are many delicious scallops recipes to choose from, including simple lemon butter or creamy garlic sauces.

Selecting and Preparing Scallops

A hand reaches for fresh scallops, then prepares and seasons them for cooking

Scallops are a delicious and versatile seafood that can be prepared in a variety of ways. However, before you start cooking, it's essential to select and prepare the scallops properly. Here's what you need to know:

Types of Scallops

There are two main types of scallops: wet and dry. Wet scallops have been treated with phosphates, which helps them retain water and appear plumper. However, this also means they can have a slightly soapy taste and don't caramelize as well when seared. Quality scallops are dry scallops, which have not been treated with phosphates and are often considered to have a better flavour and texture.

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Thawing and Drying

If you're using frozen scallops, be sure to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, remove them from the packaging and place them on a plate lined with paper towels. Gently pat them dry with additional paper towels to remove excess moisture. This will help them sear properly and prevent them from becoming rubbery.

Removing the Side Muscle

Before cooking, be sure to remove the side muscle from each scallop. This small, tough piece of tissue can be tough to chew and should be discarded. To remove it, simply use a small knife to slice it off.

By selecting quality scallops, thawing and drying them properly, and removing the side muscle, you'll be well on your way to preparing delicious scallops that will impress your guests.

Cooking Techniques and Recipes

Scallops searing in a hot skillet, golden brown and caramelized. A sprinkle of fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon add the finishing touch

5 Easy Ways to Cook Scallops

Scallops are a versatile seafood that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Here are five easy ways to cook scallops:

  1. Pan-seared: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the scallops and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Grilled: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Brush the scallops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are browned and cooked through.

  3. Baked: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Place the scallops in a baking dish and season with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Add a tablespoon of butter to the dish and bake for 10-12 minutes until the scallops are cooked through.

  4. Seafood Stew: Add scallops to your favourite seafood stew recipe for a delicious and hearty meal.

  5. Raw: Fresh scallops can be enjoyed raw in sushi or ceviche.

Accompaniments and Side Dishes

Scallops are a delicious seafood that can be paired with a variety of side dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Rice and Vegetables: Serve scallops with a side of rice and steamed vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.

  2. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to buttery scallops.

  3. Risotto: A rich and creamy risotto makes a great side dish for seared scallops.

  4. Zucchini Noodles or Cauliflower Rice: For a low-carb option, serve scallops with zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.

  5. Salads: A light and refreshing salad is the perfect complement to seared scallops.

When cooking scallops, it's important to use fresh scallops and to avoid overcooking them, as they can become rubbery. To enhance the flavour of your scallops, try adding garlic butter or a squeeze of lemon juice. A cast iron skillet is also a great tool for cooking scallops, as it helps create a sizzling crust and browned bits.

Remember to season your scallops with sea salt and black pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh herbs like thyme or parsley leaves. If you're feeling adventurous, try making a lemon butter sauce or white wine sauce to drizzle over your scallops.

Scallops are a nutritious seafood that are low in calories and high in protein. A 3.5-ounce serving of scallops contains just 100 calories and 20 grams of protein. So, whether you're grilling, baking, or pan-searing your scallops, they're sure to be a hit at your next dinner party.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chef prepares a pan-seared scallops dish, surrounded by ingredients and utensils, with a "Frequently Asked Questions" sign in the background

How do you prepare scallops for cooking?

Before cooking scallops, you should make sure to remove the side muscle, which is a small tag of tissue that attaches the scallop to its shell. To do this, simply pinch the muscle and pull it away from the scallop. If you're using frozen scallops, make sure to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

What's a good accompaniment for scallops?

Scallops pair well with a variety of flavours and textures. Some popular accompaniments include risotto, pasta, roasted vegetables, and citrus-based sauces. You can also serve scallops with a simple side salad or crusty bread to soak up any extra sauce.

Should scallops be rinsed before cooking?

It's generally not necessary to rinse scallops before cooking, as this can actually wash away some of their natural sweetness and flavour. Instead, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.

What's the secret to perfectly seared scallops?

The key to perfectly seared scallops is to make sure they are dry before cooking, as excess moisture can cause them to steam instead of sear. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add a small amount of oil or butter. Once the pan is hot, add the scallops and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and caramelized. Avoid overcrowding the pan, as this can cause the scallops to release excess moisture.

How long should scallops be cooked in the oven?

Scallops can be cooked in the oven at 400°F for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Make sure to pat them dry and season with salt and pepper before cooking. You can also add a small amount of butter or oil to the baking dish to help prevent sticking.

Can I cook scallops from frozen?

Yes, you can cook scallops from frozen, but it's important to thaw them first for the best results. To thaw frozen scallops, place them in the refrigerator overnight or run them under cold water for 30 minutes. Once thawed, pat them dry and cook as desired.