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SCALLOPS - How to find a simple recipe

  • r

I'm simply at a loss as to where to begin looking:

In my computer cooking files

On Chowhound

On the internet


EatYourBooks (561 scallop recipes come up)

What to do - what to do!

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  1. Buy DRY scallops. Season with salt and pepper. Melt some butter and a bit of oil (so butter doesn't burn) in skillet. Get very hot. Sear scallops till a good crust on one side. Flip for just a few seconds on other side. Serve.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sbp

      Read this. Once you click on the link you'll have to register, but it's free to view the recipe and read all you need to know as a home cook about buying and cooking sea scallops.


      Mr Taster

      1. re: sbp

        This is the way I usually cook scallops, butter and oil, very hot, nice crust. Thanks, sbp.

        1. re: sbp

          That and don't move them or peak until it is time to turn them.

          1. re: sbp

            That is similar to the one I us (and many others)I got the bay scallop recipe from Locke-Ober in Boston about 40 years ago. Season and brown in oil, remove to towel for draining. Melt butter, some garlic, add lemon and some sherry. POur it over the scallops That's about it.

          2. Scallops are versatile and perfect for simple and quick cooking. There are a few sizes of scallops, though. Differnt cooking methods needed for each. Which do you have on hand?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Terrie H.

              The scallops I usually use are bought at Costco - a New Bedford wild caught 8-10 per lb. They are in the frozen department. As far as I can tell, they have been 'dry.' (I can tell dry from wet.)

              Sometimes I cook them after thawing; I have even cooked them without completely thawing; it seems to make not much difference, whether I put them in a hot skillet on top of the stove or in a skillet into the oven.

              I thought perhaps I'd just do something a little different, but still simple. But I'm at a loss - except perhaps a little lime and cilantro added. With 561 recipes in my books, I am hoping to find something - as the Japanese might say - SO SIMPLE.

              1. re: Rella

                Scallops sauteed then put a little tangerine juice and peel, a small knob of butter, a splash of white wine in the pan while scallops stay warm on a plate... reduce to a glaze; serve over lentils cooked with a bit of shallot. Kiss the plate with a splooge of balsamic glaze after you top warm lentils with scallops. delicious!

            2. A scallop recipe that I love:

              I also love them with/in a seafood risotto

              1. As others have said, a very hot pan and make sure not to overcook them. I often cook them for little more than a minute per side. Most importantly, make sure your scallops are as fresh as possible. They will be sweet and wonderful.

                1. Amen on dry scallops and hot cooking surface. Try a few drops of miso and lime with a pat of butter on the cooking surface and drop the scallop on it. Leave until crust forms and repeat on flip side.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tim irvine

                    Great simple scallop recipe. Thank YOU.

                  2. Slice thin or lightly flatten between plastic.
                    Lay on plate in a single layer.
                    Dress with what you like ie Lemon Juice, Olive Oil and Pepper, or Yuzu, Sesame and Shichimi tōgarashi etc......

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: chefj

                      i doubt this would work with frozen scallops?

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        I don't think it would in my case because squishy fish is pretty darned repulsive to me ;-)) It's difficult "now-a-days" to order fish in a restaurant because fish is always undercooked for my taste.

                        But, I agree that thawed scallops would not taste the same; however, I do see scallops being sold that appear to me to have been frozen.

                        Remember the word, "fresh-frozen"? hahaha. There was a time in restaurants when one would ask, "Is the fish fresh?" and would would very often receive a very quick answer, "Yes, fresh-frozen."

                        1. re: Rella

                          do you ever eat ceviche? chefj's suggestion follows the same premise. the acids - in this case lemon juice & yuzu - would firm up/cure the fish. (but i do agree with hotoynoodle that frozen scallops aren't a great choice for this type preparation.)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Yes, I've tried - it's one of those deletectables I shall continue to not be able to enjoy during this lifetime. DH loves ceviche, etc. traveled Asia. We lived in Hawaii, but this is not something I can get past - texture -- and raw.

                          2. re: Rella

                            there is such a thing as fresh-frozen and much of the best fish used for sashimi is frozen to kill parasites.

                            freezing is not, however, generally beneficial to scallops. even if you get them as dry as possible, it's difficult to get a proper sear on them.

                            living in boston i have access to the world's best dayboat scallops, so am spoiled. i know.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              Yes, I'm sooo jealous of anyone who can get dayboat scallops. I find it difficult to buy fresh fish in a market even, but would buy them from a boat.

                              In spite of this, I 'make-do' with the frozen scallops I buy from Costco, so far I have made an acceptable scallop from these. I should say, "a most acceptable scallop' for me. Needless to say, DH always has beef at the same meal.

                          3. re: hotoynoodle

                            The fact that they were frozen was not posted at the time when I made the post.

                            1. re: chefj

                              I am remiss for not posting more concisely my dismay about not being able to choose a 'simple scallop' recipe.

                              However, I find that all replies are so interesting, no matter the interpretation of my OP.

                              Being human, it is really impossible to post 'to the point' and answer to the point if the OP wasn't to the point in the request.

                              My 'point' is/was that it is so darned hard to narrow down a simple recipe for scallops when there are so many recipes to choose from. And wondering how others would tackle the problem.

                              This is a similar request to an OP's plea/cry for: how do I begin to find a simple tomato sauce recipe - but the OP doesn't say (regretfully) that she has ever made a simple tomato sauce in the past.

                              My thanks to all who care to post.

                        2. - season scallops with freshly ground pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
                          - wrap each scallop with a slice of good prosciutto.
                          - broil, pan-sear or grill just until scallops are barely cooked through.
                          - finish with a touch more lemon juice if desired.

                          scallops are also wonderful with fresh herb-based condiments like pesto & chimichurri. just sear, top, and serve!

                          1. As far as your original question goes, I would google "simple scallops recipe."
                            I scan the listings, then click on images, and scan through those, clicking on appealing images.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: wyogal

                              When learning how to cook, random Google searches are really not a good idea, and I'll tell you why.

                              The internet is full of well-intended, enthusiastic amateurs who write confidently and passionately about their successes, but often don't know what they're talking about or why their recipes succeeded. An imprecisely written recipe that does not take into account the breadth of variables and x factors (especially when cooking a seemingly simple but persnickety item like scallops) can really frustrate someone who is really trying to learn how to cook.

                              If you're looking for well tested recipes, you need to be careful about who you choose to be your teacher. Leave the quasi-experts at the door, or read amateur blogs with an extremely critical eye, and remember that American penchant for overconfidence and enthusiasm belies the all-too-common reality of well-intended ignorance.

                              Be sure to choose sources that thoroughly test their recipes, and write them in a clear, unambiguous manner. I really love Cooks Illustrated for just this reason (and dislike Food Network for just the opposite reason), but there are others available too.

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                Of course, I don't follow recipes posted by just anybody. I look at he reviews as well as the comments. The OP asked about how to go about it, and that's what I do.
                                Hello, critical thinking skills......

                                1. re: wyogal

                                  The OP sounds like they're really just beginning to learn how to cook. And when you're first learning any skill, you don't necessarily know how to differentiate between what's sound, quality advice and what is not.

                                  My advice is simply that it's best to start learning with a teacher that has a solid foundation in what you're trying to learn, rather than cobbling together potentially specious (but confidently communicated) advice from random sources. Maximize your successes by minimizing those fiddly x-factors that can put the kaibosh on a well-intended recipe. New cooks need encouragement from success. The learning by making mistakes can come later, once the student has built up their confidence and skills.

                                  Mr Taster

                            2. Why not just cruise all of them? Unless you're really desperate for a specific recipe asap, in which case you should ask re: what recipe you're looking for.

                              Asking for a "scallop recipe" is like asking for a "pasta recipe". There are THOUSANDS. Either be more specific as to what you're looking for, or start cruising the internet.

                              And are you looking for a recipe for Sea or Bay scallops?

                              1. Dry your scallops with a paper towel before searing. Very important or they wont get as browned as you might like.

                                1. I certainly can't add anything to the posts here for how to sear scallops, but once they're seared, here are a few collections of recipes that have provided me with a great deal of success in the past.