With a seared exterior and soft, tender interior, scallops have a mild flavour that complement a rich, buttery wine sauce. There are a few insider tricks to ensuring that scallops come out crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside. First, preheat the pan so it is nice and hot before adding the scallops. This speeds up the cooking time to create a sear rather than simply steaming the scallops.
Second, be sure to add salt and pepper the scallops just before throwing them in the pan. Salt draws out the moisture, but the scallops will steam if salted and left out for too long. And last — but not least — as soon as the scallops hit the pan, do not touch them or move them around. When you're finished cooking the scallops, don't overlook the fond (crispy pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan). That's concentrated flavor right there, so don't throw it all away! Instead, I recommend deglazing the pan with wine to make a speedy sauce. In addition to boosting the flavour of sauces, deglazing a pan also reduces cleaning time. So stop furiously scrubbing your pans at the end of the night, and start deglazing!
This particular scallop recipe goes with just about any starch. Stir in whatever leftover herbs you have, spoon over extra sauce, and let the starch soak up the gloriously buttery, herby flavours.
- 5-6 large scallops
- Cooking spray
- 60ml white wine
- 1 tablespoon minced white onion
- 3 tablespoons chilled butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh green onion
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a heavy based frying pan over medium-high heat until thoroughly heated. Coat scallops with cooking spray, and then salt and pepper right before placing in the pan. Carefully place scallops in the pan. Sear for 3-5 minutes or until browned, flip over with tongs, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove scallops from pan, and keep them warm in an oven at around 70ºC.
- In same pan, add wine to deglaze, or use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the pan. Add onion, and bring wine to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until liquid reduces to 2 tablespoons. Over low heat, whisk in butter cubes, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in parsley and green onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve scallops with sauce.
- Main Dishes
- Serves 2