I was more than a little nervous cooking these scallops for two reasons:
1. I have never cooked large scallops before (shocking I know, I have wasted my life).
2. They were so expensive I almost had to mortgage a kidney to buy them.
So it was with great trepidation that I approached the frying pan.
Dog watched me, his beady eyes willing me to fail, knowing any rejected scallops would end up in his bowl.
He even threw in the occasional “yip” to throw me off my game.
But Dog went hungry that night (not really, don’t call the Humane Society on me, he’s well provided for) because the scallops were a resounding success.
The secret is in the searing – it takes seconds for them to go from delicious and plump to rubbery and foul. Watch ’em like a hawk. Also, they should be dry beforehand – any moisture and they won’t carmelise properly.
I also found it helpful to prepare the sauce beforehand, leaving the scallops to the last minute so they are not sitting around.
If there’s anything more gross than cold scallops, I have not found it. Nor do I want to.
Seared Scallops with Bacon Mustard Sauce (serves 2)
*very loosely adapted from Recipe for Success
- 6 large sea scallops
- 1 tbsp bacon fat (or butter)
- 2 slices streaky, smoked bacon
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsps heavy cream
- 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
- Grill the bacon until crispy, cut into small pieces and set aside.
- Whisk together the olive oil and stock over a low heat. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until reduced by half. Turn down the heat and stir in the cream and mustard. Add the bacon bits. Keep the sauce warm while you deal with the scallops.
- Pat the scallops dry with a kitchen towel, season well. Melt the bacon fat or butter in a frying pan over a very high heat. Wait until the fat is smoking before adding your scallops. Sear them for a minute on each side until they turn golden. Remove from pan and drizzle with sauce.
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