Sea Scallops are in the top 3 on my list of favorite foods. I love the texture, the taste and the look of them. Ever since the very first time I tried sea scallops, I was hooked. They were so delicious and were cooked to perfection. I knew that if I ever tried to make them myself, they had to be something special. They also had to be simple and not too over the top.
Whenever I make scallops, I always strive to make them better each and every time. These Seared Butter Garlic Sea Scallops are quick and easy to cook. They do not require too many ingredients. Fortunately, the ingredients for these scallops are basic ones that I am sure many of you have in your refrigerator or pantry already.
For these sea scallops, I used 1 pound of jumbo scallops, kosher salt, black pepper, unsalted butter, garlic powder and fresh lemon juice. I seared them and used fresh chopped parsley for garnish. If you like the taste of lemon, then feel free to use a little bit of zest to really give this dish even more of a tang. I find that the lemon juice is just enough for me and I typically reserve the zest to use in a side dish.
I usually like to buy my scallops fresh. I have made them using frozen scallops. They tasted pretty much just the same as fresh ones. If you are using frozen scallops, simply thaw them out in the refrigerator overnight. As long as you are diligent in removing any excess moisture in the scallops before searing, then they should cook nicely for you. You want to remove the moisture so that they can get nicely browned when seared. Otherwise, they will just steam and will not have that outer crust that is all the craze with this recipe.
Something I have learned about cooking scallops is that a little bit of seasoning goes a long way. I always use salt as the very last seasoning. Keep in mind a little salt goes a long way with this meal since like any seafood, scallops already have a natural saltiness to them from being in the sea. You really want the fish to be what stands out about the dish. If you overpower this with too many seasonings, it will not taste like a true scallop. I like to use flavors that do not mask, but rather bring out the seafood taste and enhance it when I make scallops.
I cook these in a piping hot cast iron skillet. Be sure to not overcrowd the pan you are using. These scallops need room to breathe and not sweat. This gives them a nice crust. The crust is what really makes these scallops stand out. It is nice to bite into the scallops and enjoy a slightly rough outer part and then, a chewy center. If you are fine with the texture of scallops, then you will love the texture that this recipe brings. It will not take long to get a nicely browned outer crust due to the fact that we are cooking these scallops in butter. Since we are adding the lemon juice at the end, it also helps to add a nice finishing taste.
For serving purposes, these scallops go wonderfully over rice or risotto. They also work well with pasta with a buttery wine sauce. I have tried them with all three and I cannot say which is better than the other. Whichever way you choose to eat these Seared Butter Garlic Sea Scallops, I hope you are pleased and satisfied with your dish.