Alex's Recipes


Sea Scallops


1/2 pound per serving



sea scallops (1/2 lb per serving)
butter (salted or unsalted)
flour and/or saltine cracker meal, for rolling
egg (optional)


These sautéed sea scallops turned out great. At $14.99 a pound, my 1/2 lb purchase was getting up in the rarefied territory of choice aged filet mignon, so I got out an old Boston School Cookbook (our parent's vintage) to make sure I didn't screw it up.

(NOTE: If you're thinking of substituting the smaller, less expensive Bay Scallops, maker sure your butcher is able to tell you confidently which "Bay" they came from. There are pollution issues at some locales, and the SF Bay Area is one of them.)

I parboiled my sea scallops as indicated, removing and draining as soon as the water was steaming well, but not boiling. Without actually boiling or cooking the scallop meat, I think this solves the problem of the thick finished product being either un-done on the inside, or tough as suet, after pan-frying.

I couldn't locate our flour for rolling the scallops. Excellent! I took a trick from my mom's cooking days instead. I crushed up a few saltine crackers to the consistency of coarse meal.

Put crackers in a plate, and grind them to the desired fineness with the flat bottom of a drinking glass. If you don't know this trick for breaded seafoods, it is a delightful improvement over just rolling in ordinary flours or cornmeal. Addition of a small amount of flour will thicken the coating.

For a thicker and richer coating, you can pre-dip in egg batter (as my cookbook called for). I skipped this step in the interest of time and cholesterol. If your main interest is the taste of this prized seafood, I think the recipe is better off with a simpler rolled coating.

Pat drained scallops dry. Roll scallops in excess butter from the readied sauté pan (we use unsalted butter). Roll the scallops in the cracker meal. Sautée at medium heat (or pan-fried, if you will -- no excess liquor of any kind) until properly browned -- maybe 6 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of lemon juice. Splendid!






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