Portuguese Style Scallops
Hockey Puck … This is commonly used to describe this sweet pricey mollusk when it’s overcooked. My description, too, with my first cooking experience.
So much was working against the perfect outcome back then. First, my Mystery Man preferred well done everything especially seafood. Yep, even well done tuna sashimi. That’s an oxymoron! (Don’t tell him but fresh scallops can actually be eaten raw.) This well done thing, and no ingredients ready before placing the scallops into a too cool skillet converted the potentially tender juicy treat into a choking hazard! Since then I’ve learned much about this treasure of the sea.
So, here are a few simple suggestions for cooking the perfect sea scallop.
-Have everything prepared before you begin cooking the scallops … Not only the ingredients going into the scallop dish but any side you plan to fix. Keep in mind cooking scallops takes only minutes. Have the rice ready or nearly so.
-For best results use searing to cook the scallops. I like to use a very hot cast iron skillet. Use an oil that tolerates high heat and be prepared for a little bit of a mess with splatter.
-Cook in batches to keep the skillet from dropping too much in temperature when the scallops are added. Spread out the scallops in the pan.
-Let the scallops cook for about one minute before turning them over. Check to make sure the bottom is cooking nicely, browning but not burning. After a minute the scallop is less likely to stick to the skillet because it is now seared. Turn to sear the additional side.