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I've never made scallops before and I bought a frozen bag of them from Wal-Mart (I know, not the best kind). Do I just add some salt and pepper? I've no idea. I don't want to wrap them in bacon..

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8 Answers 8

Salt and pepper them. Cook them in butter in a frying pan. Don't crowd them in the pan, or they will steam. Time depends on the size of the scallop, but they don't take long to cook. If you over cook them they will be quite rubbery. When they're cooked, take them off the heat and squeeze some lemon juice over them.

I'll generally serve them over mashed white beans or lentils with some crispy pancetta / prosciutto / bacon.

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  • Pat them dry.

  • flour them, a little salt and pepper too.

  • Heat a skillet up and sizzle the butter/oil. Medium high.

  • Put in the scallops - not too many. 2 mins a side.

  • Toss in some garlic and mix with the butter.

  • A little fresh parmesan can be pretty good too.

Or, in place or parmesan, a little soy sauce, sizzled in the butter and garlic.

Serve as an appetizer, with the butter/garlic sauce on top.

Or, serve with whatever you want. I favour fries, but I'm a heathen.

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Flour? What's the thinking... –  Ocaasi Aug 14 '10 at 7:05
Think of it like scallops meuniere, but with a little extra from the garlic and parmesan. –  Alex Aug 17 '10 at 3:14

coincidentally, i had a scallop dish last night at a restaurant that was served with pan-seared cauliflower florets, a butter & cream sauce made with capers, and topped with toasted pine nuts. it was really tasty! the scallops were probably seared along with the lightly steamed cauliflower. but i also recommend just frying the scallops in butter, and topping with salt (smoked?) and pepper.

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My fave preparation of scallops is to pan-sear them in a hot skillet (heavy iron FTW!) so that they brown. There must be a high(er) carbohydrate content in the juice that flows from the scallops to have it brown so nicely, but I'm not certain. And be sure to deglaze the pan. All that caramelized yummy goodness in the bottom of the skillet is too good to pass up.

And I like to server them with browned butter. Just cook some butter over a low heat until the butter solids turn brown. If you haven't done this before, consider having some water drawn in the sink. When the butter is browned to your liking, set the bottom of the pan in the water to stop the cooking. Otherwise, the hot butter may continue to cook and actually burn the solids.

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Several restaurants in the UK serve scallops along with black pudding (blood sausage).

Given the other answer about bacon/pancetta and white beans, they seem to have an affinity for rich earthy porky flavours. However, it sounds like you want to avoid bacon as a flavour.

There are also several Thai recipes for scallops - think chilli and caramelised sugars as flavours.

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You have two choices. Either you boil them, and then serve with a sauce you prepare mixing equal parts of ketchup and mayonnaise, or you prepare them like this: roll them in a mix of grated bread, parsley, salt and pepper. Put them in the shell, add a small amount of oil. Put them in pre-heated oven at 200 C (392 F) for 15 minutes.

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That first option sounds disgusting! –  yossarian Aug 13 '10 at 20:57
@yossarian : it is not. the mix has a very pleasant taste which goes perfect with fish and other seafood. In particular, it is perfect for this entree': cook the shrimps, let them cool down, mix them with the ketchup+mayonnaise, then serve cold, into a large iceberg salad leaf. it's quick to prepare, very good to open a fish-based dinner and visually nice. –  Stefano Borini Aug 13 '10 at 21:11
@stefano, I guess I'll have to try it, but I'm highly skeptical. –  yossarian Aug 13 '10 at 21:21
ketchup and mayo is mary-rose sauce in the UK, and is served with prawn cocktail in place as the equivalent of cocktail sauce in the US. but I wouldn't put it on scallops. –  Alex Aug 13 '10 at 22:22
@Alex Ketchup and mayo is actually closer to russian-dressing (or french dressing). Cocktail sauce doesn't have any eggs/fat, just tomato, vinegar, and horseradish. –  Ocaasi Aug 14 '10 at 1:57

Try Coquilles St. Jacques.

It works well with frozen seafood.

I'm not recommending this recipe, as I haven't tried it. I'm just including for reference.


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Scallops work well when sautéed in toasted sesame oil as well. It creates a much nuttier flavor, but if you are using them for the texture this is another way to extend their utility.

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