Monday, October 26, 2015

Pan-Seared Scallops with Cilantro Lemon Butter Sauce

When we moved to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens a few months ago, we were pleasantly surprised to learn about Parkside Greenmarket, a small but high-quality farmer's market by the Parkside Q stop. American Seafood, a small stand selling wild-caught fish and shellfish from Suffolk County, NY, has an excellent variety of seafood (blowfish tails, anyone?), but we always buy at least a few sea scallops for a Sunday-evening treat.

There's not much to say about the cooking method. Sear the scallops on one side, add some butter, flip, baste, and pull them while they're still medium-rare. Don't futz around with the seasoning. Lemon, fresh herbs, a little pepper, and some crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Cilantro Lemon Butter Sauce

Cooking Time
5 minutes


2 deep sea divers

Chef's knife and cutting board
Nonstick skillet (link NSFW though highly relevant)
Offset spatula
Metal spoon

1 tablespoon canola oil
1012 oz. sea scallops
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Juice of 1 lemon
Large handful cilantro (stems and leaves), thinly sliced (reserve a few whole leaves for garnish)
Black pepper

1. Season scallops on both sides with salt. Heat oil in skillet over high heat. When oil starts to smoke, add scallops in a single layer. Sear until first side has formed a golden-brown crust, about 2 minutes.

2. Drain off excess oil from pan (a great method is to tilt the pan so the oil pools in one spot, and then sop it up with a wadded-up paper towel held in a pair of tongs). Add butter and reduce heat to medium. Flip scallops with offset spatula, tilt pan, and baste scallops until butter begins to turn brown and nutty, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Season with pepper and serve immediately.

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