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.
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
properly browned -- maybe 6 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling
of lemon juice. Splendid!