Our Pond Mountain Inn guests from New Bedford generously brought us 1½ pounds of incredibly fresh scallops. New Bedford is arguably the scallop capital of the world where not only the best scallops originate, but is also home to some of the best seafood, and has been for centuries.
Seared Scallops… From the Beginning
Scallops are one of the easiest and fastest gourmet meal you can make at home—just under ten minutes. Here’s a quick refresher—somethings you probably already know.
Step One: Selection
Begin by selecting “dry scallops”, white in color with a pure flavor, compared to “wet scallops”, which are slightly beige in color and tend to be less fresh. The difference is that dry scallops have never been treated with chemical additives or any type of solutions whereas wet scallops have. Dry or Day Boat scallops are harvested within 24 hours (by law) during their peak season from late fall through the winter, ensuring the freshest catch during these months.
Step Two: Preparation & Cooking
Pat dry scallops with paper towel and season with coarse sea salt and finely ground black pepper.
Select your best cast-iron skillet, heat skillet until very hot, introduce some high-quality olive oil or butter and place scallops comfortably distanced in the skillet—don’t crowd the pan! Note, to get that beautifully golden-brown crust requires high heat.
Cook the scallops undisturbed for 2 minutes, then flip scallops and cook for another 2 minutes. Both sides of the scallops should be seared golden-brown and the insides should be opaque all the way through. However, if your scallops are biscuit-sized, you’ll need an additional minute or more on both sides. Add a few tablespoons of butter shortly after the first side finishes to achieve that classic seared scallop flavor profile.
Serve immediately, and make sure to transfer them to another dish for serving, otherwise they will continue cooking—do not overcook the scallops otherwise they will become tough and chewy.