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Brown Butter Seared Scallops
“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.”
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
1Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper; cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the scallops and add herbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. 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. Divide the scallops among 4 plates and spoon the lemon-butter sauce over them.
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.