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Learn how to make Pan Seared Scallops with a perfectly golden-brown crust and serve them with pea puree and a divine French Vanilla Beurre Blanc Butter Sauce! An easy pan seared scallops recipe that is elegant yet simple to make at home.
Impress your date with this Pan-Seared Scallops Recipe!
Scallops are on most dine dining restaurant menus these days and for good reason. As far as seafood goes, it does not get more elegant than scallops!
Their tender meat, the mildly sweet flavor and that gorgeous caramelized crust they get from being seared in a super hot skillet! Not to mention, they’re way easier to eat than, say, lobster!
It’s funny that a lot of people prefer to order them at restaurants because they’re too intimidated to make them at home. I know it because I used to be one of those people.
Guys, let me tell you that scallops are one of the easiest things you can make at home.
How to pan sear scallops perfectly:
When it comes to scallops it’s crust or bust.
Choose dry-packed scallops.
If you can, buy fresh and dry-packed scallops. The key to restaurant-style scallops with a crispy crunchy golden crust is to dry them thoroughly before frying. To do so, line a large plate with paper towels, place the scallops on it and top it with more towels. Let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, chop the shallots etc.
Once they’re dry, you can start seasoning the scallops with sea salt and, if you want, a dash of pepper.
Pick a fat or oil with a high smoke point:
Fry them in cooking oil with a high smoke point. We are using bacon fat in this pan-seared scallops recipe but you can also use grapeseed oil, canola oil, safflower oil, avocado, and peanut oil. But not olive oil.
Pan Sear Scallops in high heat.
Don’t add the scallops until the pan or skillet is super-hot. Do not overcrowd the skillet with scallops as this will drop the heat level. This is why I work in batches.
DO NOT be tempted to turn over the scallops too soon and refrain from moving them around. This prevents the forming of that nice restaurant-style brown crust.
Depending on the size of your scallops, sear them for 1 to 2 minutes per side. If they start to cook in their juices, they were not dry. Drain those juices from the pan, add in a little more oil and pretend nothing has happened.
Can the pea puree be made dairy-free?
Peas can be cooked in different liquids. You can use coconut milk or even just plain chicken stock for this recipe. I do, however, recommend adding some kind of creaminess to the puree. To keep things dairy-free consider swirling in some cashew sour cream.
Tips for buying scallops:
Grocery store scallops are often labeled as wet or dry. A wet scallop has been soaked in a preservative solution. This makes them absorb more water. Consequently, when you cook them, they will shrivel a bit and will not brown as well. The preserving solution also gives the scallop an off-putting flavor, and they’re usually not as fresh.
So you want to buy dry scallop that has not been treated with any solutions.
How long will scallops keep in the fridge?
Two days max but I recommend you only make as much as you can eat in one sitting. When they’re fresh, they are best. Refrigerated, they should still have a sweet ocean smell, and when they start to spoil they will take on a stinky fish smell.
Can pan seared scallops be reheated?
Yes, but they will never be as good as freshly seared. You will have to be very careful not to cook them further. Just heat them in warm butter or milk ever so slightly until they’re just warm enough to eat.
★ Did you make and love this pan-seared scallops recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!
Pan-Seared Scallops Recipe with Pea Puree, Bacon & Vanilla Beurre Blanc
Learn how to make Pan Seared Scallops with a perfectly golden-brown crust and serve them with pea puree and a divine French Vanilla Beurre Blanc Butter Sauce! An easy pan-seared scallops recipe that is elegant yet simple to make at home.
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 1/3 cups frozen peas 400 g
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 cup milk 200 ml
- ¼ tsp nutmeg freshly grated
- ½ shallot minced
- 2 peppercorns
- 1/2 vanilla bean scraped
- 50 ml dessert wine or ice wine
- 1/4 cup cold butter 70 g
- 8 scallops marinated in ice wine overnight
Fry the bacon on medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels. Reserve the fat. Chop the bacon once cooled or pulse into bacon bits using a food processor.
For the pea puree
Heat oil in a medium-sized pan on medium heat and sautee the diced shallots until translucent but do not brown them. Add peas, salt, milk, and nutmeg and let simmer for 8 minutes. Strain and reserve the milk. Add peas to a high container and add a splash of the pea milk, then puree with an immersion blender, adding more pea milk until you have reached the desired texture.
For the Beurre Blanc:
Add diced shallots, pepper, freshly scraped out vanilla paste and ice wine to a small pot and let simmer until reduced to about 2 tbsps. Strain and press on the shallots in the sieve to get out as much liquid as possible. Return the liquid to the pan, reduce heat and add cold butter bit by bit while stirring with a whisk. Do not heat the sauce too much at this point. You can quickly reheat before serving.
For the scallops:
To remove the tendons from the scallops, simply peel away the small, rough-textured crescent-shaped tendon and discard. Pat the outside of the scallops dry with a paper towel. Next, sprinkle the scallops with sea salt. Next grab a cast-iron skillet, preferably cast-iron. Heat up the skillet until it’s really hot, and add 2 tbsps of your reserved bacon fat.
Drop in your scallops one by one clockwise, making sure to give them enough space in the pan so they’re not touching.
Sear the scallops for about 1 minute on the first side, then flip and add a small pat of bacon fat to the pan while the other side finishes cooking, for another minute. Flip them clockwise starting with the one you put in first.
I cook my scallops for 2 minutes total but mine were rather small. For bigger scallops, up the time to 1,5 minutes per side or even up to 2.
Take them out of the pan immediately and serve on a bed of pea puree. Sprinkle with bacon bits and a drizzle of Beurre Blanc.
The pan-seared scallops will last in the fridge for 2 days max but I recommend you only make as much as you can eat in one sitting. When they’re fresh, they are best. Refrigerated, they should still have a sweet ocean smell, and when they start to spoil they will take on a stinky fish smell.