Over the years, I've tried dozens of recipes with some of my favorite ingredients – garlic, shallots, tomatoes, heavy cream, saffron, orange, panko, Pernod, white wine, and tarragon. But, when it comes to the first of the season bivalves, I like to keep it really simple: scallops, butter, salt, pepper and a spritz of lemon.
I’ve got a pound of just delivered Nantucket Bay scallops in my refrigerator at my apartment in New York and the anticipation is killing me.
|Nantucket Bay Dry Scallops - November 2012 (photo: Lexi Van de Walle)|
Superstorm Sandy Sizzling Sautéed Scallops
1 pound local bay scallops
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
NOTE: Pat scallops dry to remove excess moisture and cook in batches of about 1/3 of a pound so the pan is not crowded and the scallops brown. For tender scallops, do not over cook. Overcooked scallops are rubbery.
1. Heat a large heavy skillet on high heat and melt one tablespoon of butter.
2. Add one third of the scallops and cook over high heat until brown, or about 2-3 minutes maximum.
3. Turn browned scallops over and continue cooking until still slightly uncooked in the middle, about 1-2 additional minutes. Store just cooked through scallops on a plate and cover with foil). Repeat until all scallops are cooked. Season.
Early word on how good or bad the season will be is unclear. I’m optimistic for a bountiful year like the Lesters in East Hampton ( Bays Abound with Scallops This Season). More pessimistic reports point to concern about high rates of die-off due to algae blooms this summer (Scallops Suffer Massive Die-Off: Red Tide May Be To Blame).