SEARED SCALLOPS WITH A “PICCATA” SAUCE

One day while thinking about what I would serve for dinner, I thought about Chicken Piccata. But we had just had chicken the night before, and there really is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”. But the “piccata” part still lingered in my mind. So what about seafood in piccata sauce? Perfect!

And then, what about scallops for the seafood part? Again – perfect. So off to our local grocery store for some individually flash frozen scallops. (And yes, scallops that have been individually flash frozen are delicious. In fact, I have purchased “fresh” scallops thinking they would be better than those that had been flash frozen, just to find the fresh scallops seriously past their prime. Whereas, buying flash frozen scallops, I have never been disappointed.)

But, a couple of things to look out for in flash frozen scallops – ice crystals or evidence of freezer burn. If either of these two things are present, walk away. But if the scallops look good, go for it. It is best to defrost the scallops overnight in the refrigerator. But if you are like me, and usually only have a short time before wanting to cook these delicious babies, seal them in a freezer bag and place the bag in a bowl of cold (never warm or hot) water until they are defrosted.

Then assemble and measure all of your ingredients before you even think of turning on your stove, because the whole process of cooking the scallops goes very quickly. (You really don’t want to be squeezing the lemon juice while the scallops are cooking, for example.)

So some evening when you feel you are worthy of a special dinner, make this simple dish as your reward for good behavior. Believe me, if I could fix this dish for some of the politicians currently in office, with their promise that they would begin acting in a more dignified and concerned manner, I’d leave on a jet plane this afternoon. But promises from Washington DC seem to be about as reliable as a chocolate teapot or a support bra without under wires! So I guess I’ll just leave that sleeping dog lay and fix this dish for the more deserving. So, hope you give this recipe a try. And if you love Chicken Piccata, there’s a pretty darn good recipe already on this site.   

  • 1 lb. fairly large sea scallops (about 10)
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T. dry white wine
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. capers, drained
  • 2 tsp. chopped parsley, opt.

Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned scallops and sear for about 2 minutes on each side. The bottom and top should be a lovely golden brown.

(You don’t want to cook scallops too long or they will be tough. It’s actually better to cook them a bit on the underdone side.)

Transfer the scallops to a serving plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the white wine and remove skillet from heat. Whisk in the lemon juice and capers.

Spoon sauce over scallops, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.

 

 

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks