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Brown Butter Seared Scallops

  • 10 m
  • 10 m
Carolyn Casner
“Get perfectly cooked scallops every time with this easy method. Sea scallops (the large ones) are sautéed in butter that turns deliciously nutty as it cooks, to make a super fast, special dinner. A splash of lemon juice and fresh herbs finish the dish. Round out the menu with sautéed spinach and brown rice or orzo.”

Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
    • 16 sea scallops (about 1 pound) tough side muscle removed, patted dry (see Note)
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, sage or parsley
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

  • 1 Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn scallops and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and herbs. Continue cooking, spooning the butter over the scallops until browned on the bottom and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Transfer scallops to individual plates and spoon the lemon butter sauce over top.
  • Note: Be sure to buy "dry" sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops that have been treated with STP ("wet" scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are not only mushy and less flavorful, but will not brown properly.
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