Scared to make scallops at home? Don't be! Follow these easy steps for How to Make the Best Pan Seared Scallops with a Brown Butter Lemon Caper Sauce!
Scallops are one of my favorite seafood dishes, and I used to save the splurge only for restaurants. But after several failed attempts at making perfect Pan-Seared Scallops at home, I finally mastered it.
And you know what’s crazy? They have to be one of THE easiest things to make as long as you follow a few simple steps. Trust me; you can totally do this.
Start with DRY scallops. I mean, really dry.
Scallops hold a ton of excess water, and if you don’t get it all out, you will end up with a watery mess in your skillet. Pat them dry with paper towels. And when I think they are dry enough, pat them one more time just to be sure.
If you rush this step, you will end up with scallops that won’t caramelize. (I’ve done this more times than I would care to admit.) And when you are shelling out the money for scallops, you want to make it worth your while.
You need a smoking hot skillet. Literally.
After your scallops are dry, heat your olive oil until it is just smoking in a skillet. Keep your nonstick pan on the shelf for this meal; you'll have the best results using a stainless steel or cast iron pan. (I have this one and LOOOOVE it.)
Add your scallops to your smoking hot oil, but don’t let them touch each other as they need room to let moisture escape. Otherwise, you will have steamed scallops. And steamed scallops don’t make anyone happy.
Let them caramelize for 2 minutes, flip them and sear them for another 2 minutes. The result? Gorgeous caramel color that is essential for restaurant-quality, pan seared scallops.
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How to Make the Best Pan Seared Scallops
- Brown Butter Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons Butter
- quarter of a small lemon
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 sea scallops
- Salt and pepper
Brown Butter Sauce:
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and simmer until butter is brown, being careful to not burn it. Swirl the pans a few times as it simmers. Once butter is brown, remove pan from heat and squeeze lemon juice in and stir. Add capers, stir and set aside.
- How to Sear Scallops
- Pat dry the scallops with paper towels. Make sure they are really dry before you begin heating your skillet. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
- Add the olive oil to a stainless steel skillet or cast iron pan over high heat and heat until smoking. Add scallops to skillet and make sure they don't touch. Sear for 2 minutes and flip over. Sear for additional 2 minutes or until opaque.
- Serve immediately with brown butter sauce and fresh lemon slices.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.