I’m the person who runs at the gym while watching the Food Network, and during my down time at work (when not testing lipstick swatches), I’m reading articles on food. I came across one about how to sear scallops the right way, and I became enticed by the idea of trying it myself.
I realized it’s not difficult at all when prepped the right way. A few things I learned:
1) Make sure to buy DRY scallops as opposed to wet ones. The quality is better and it’s easier to cook. Wet scallops are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), I learned which makes it difficult to sear because it absorbs so much moisture. A lot of grocery stores serve them this way. DRY scallops are a little more expensive, but more fresh and have a better flavor. Dry ones are more fleshy and translucent compared to wet ones, which look opaque, pale, or white.
2) Cook it in very hot oil.The first problem with scallops occurs before you even buy them.* Many scallops are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), a chemical that, while perfectly safe to consume, wreaks havoc on your ability to achieve a proper sear. In the industry, chemically treated scallops are called wet scallops, and they’re the norm in most supermarkets, including the one where I’d bought mine.
3) Get friendly with salt.
I went to Whole Foods to buy one, and pricier is right — they were $25 per pound but found worth paying more for. Here’s how I made mine.
First I let them sit in paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. I pressed another paper towel on top to absorb maximum water (I let it sit for about 20 minutes).
I then seasoned it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic salt and let it sit for a few minutes more.
Next, I added canola oil to a frying pan over high heat and let it sit for a minute so it’s really hot.
Next, I placed each scallop in the pan and let it fry for a few minutes until the bottom is slightly brown. Don’t keep turning it to check the scallop — let it fry for a good few minutes before you turn it over.
When it’s ready, turn it over and sear the other side.
Et voila. That’s it. It was the first time I’ve ever seared scallops and they turned out delicious if you just prep it right.
I baked asparagus (just put fresh stems with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic salt) until slightly browned. I found it’s the best way to serve them so it’s not soggy. I also separately cooked corn over the stove with butter, and added salt, pepper, cayenne, and some Italian seasoning. You can serve it whatever you want, of course — this is just the way I chose to do it to keep it less heavy and it tasted delicious together. Anyone going to try? Make sure to tag me so I can see your creation :).
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