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This is restaurant-level food which can be made quicker than pasta.
An elegant dish, Browned Butter Seared Scallops are the epitome of what comes of a successful trip to the fish monger. This is restaurant-level food which can be made quicker than pasta. Arguably, I think they are as tasty if not moreso than shrimp. This is an easy recipe for weeknights since scallops are a quick dish that appear to have taken hours when they really only take but a few minutes.
Crème sherry caramelizes as it cooks and compliments the salty nuttiness of the browned butter.
The norm is to squeeze or zest some citrus over fish and shellfish – totally fine here, too but with the sweet addition of crème sherry, taste before you add any lemon. The crème sherry caramelizes as it cooks and compliments the salty nuttiness of the browned butter. You will likely find that you don’t require it.
Serve the scallops atop a hearty starch. A creamy goat cheese mashed potato, sticky rice, or as we’ve done here, an oven roasted and creamed spaghetti squash, and a light drizzle of a Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze.
Ingredients For Browned Butter Seared Scallops
1 lb vibrant and fresh large sea scallops
7 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter
3 to 4 tablespoons crème sherry
salt and fresh pepper to taste
Rinse the scallops under cold water. Place on paper toweling to dry. Pat the tops with additional paper toweling to ensure they are well dried. This is key to getting a good, crusty sear. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add 4 tablespoons of the salted butter and melt. The butter will begin to foam as it is nearly melted. This is a critical moment where walking away from the skillet is not an option. Watch carefully for the butter to no longer foam, but brown. Remove the skillet from the direct heat and immediately add the crème sherry. Whisk vigorously and return to the heat for 1 minute or until bubbling. Mixture will be slightly viscous. Spoon the browned butter mixture into a sauce boat, cover with foil to keep warm, and set aside.
Repeat with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until the butter begins to brown. Lower the heat just slightly and add the scallops to the hot skillet. Allow the scallops to sear for 2 to 3 minutes before turning and repeating on the opposite side. You’ll know the scallops are ready to flip when they pull away from the skillet easily, and are caramelized. If they don’t pull away from the skillet easily from the skillet, give them a little longer.
Plate the scallops atop a hearty starch. Sticky rice, pearled cous cous, or as we’ve served with ours, an oven roasted creamed spaghetti squash. Use the reserved browned butter to drizzle over the scallops and allow to pool slightly at the base of the starch. As an alternate finishing sauce, you may also like to try A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze. Finish with chopped chives.