Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Seared Scallops with a Caper Lemon Sauce
Often times when cooking seafood, simpler is better. Why hide the amazing flavor under a ton of other ingredients? Plus, simpler means easy prep and easy cleanup. That’s why we love making these pan-seared Sea Scallops. Just a handful of ingredients, but a mouthful of flavor.
Ingredients (serves four)
12-16 large dry Sea Scallops (see notes below)
3 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbl good quality butter
1 Tbl minced garlic (or use garlic paste)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth/stock
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 Tbls Capers, rinsed and drained
Rinse then carefully pat the scallops dry on all sides. If not at room temperature, allow to stand for 10 mins or so.
Add oil to a sauté pan or iron skillet (our preference), and heat on medium-high until almost smoking.
Using tongs, add the scallops to the pan and press down lightly. Sear the scallops until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 mins.
Add butter to the pan and flip the scallops. Cook, basting, until opaque and firm to the touch, about a minute or so. Turn off heat, remove from the pan, and transfer scallops to a plate.
In the same pan, turn the heat to medium and, once warm, add the garlic until fragrant but not browned or scorched.
Increase the heat and add the wine, stirring as needed to loosen any residue on the pan, and cook until reduced by about half (3 mins or so).
Increase heat to high and add chicken broth/stock, lemon juice and zest, and capers. Cook until sauce is reduced by half.
Reduce heat to medium, and scallops, and cook to warm (about 2 mins).
Add salt and pepper to taste, garnish if desired with fresh dill, diced scallion greens, diced Asian or regular Chives, and serve.
"Dry" scallops mean scallops which have not been treated with phosphates or other chemicals to preserve them or increase their water content so that they look plumper. If your fishmonger or market doesn't know what "dry" means, shop somewhere else.
Be careful not to overcook your scallops, as they'll become rubbery.
For the wine, a dry white wine like a Chenin Blanc, an oaky Chardonnay, or an Alsace Pinot Gris works well.