Pan-Seared Lemon Butter Scallops

Pan-seared lemon butter scallops are golden seared on the outside and tender on the inside, with the sweet scallop meat glazed with a tangy lemon butter sauce.pan seared scallops
Scallops truly are one of the most delicious, delicate, and healthy foods we get from the sea.  A healthy and delicious power food, a single 3-ounce serving provides 20 grams of protein and a hefty dose of magnesium and potassium~and only 95 calories.

Scallop meat is white, slightly sweet, and tastes similar to lobster. Properly cooked scallops are tender & meaty; overcooked scallops are rubbery. At an average price of $17 or more per pound, there is little wriggle room in cooking these just right. But it really is easy to do; you simply have to watch carefully and know when they are done, then immediately remove them from heat.

These pan-seared lemon butter scallops remind me of lobster meat because the naturally sweet scallops are glazed with lemon butter sauce that is so often used to flavor lobster.

pan-seared scallops

I keep frozen scallops on hand so that I can pull them out any time the mood strikes. Costco sells a large bag, and Trader Joe’s sells a smaller one. Both brands are excellent and easy to pull out, thaw, and cook when a scallop craving strikes.

The optimal way to thaw frozen scallops is overnight in the fridge. But for spur of the moment scallop cooking, a cold water thaw works just fine and takes 15-20 minutes.

easy pan seared scallopsSaute pan: This T-Fal non-stick saute pan is the best saute pan I’ve ever had, and I own two (and use them almost every day). It comes with a glass lid, which I like to use to cover the scallops for just long enough to “steam” them so that the inside cooks completely. When I don’t do a short steam, sometimes my outside cooks completely before the inside meat does.

A combination of EVOO and butter gives the richest flavor to scallops. I’ve made them using only EVOO and not been nearly as pleased. The melted butter makes them taste more like lobster. Since I keep Trader Joe’s ghee on hand, I use ghee (clarified butter) for this recipe.

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice turns ordinary pan drippings into a wonderfully rich and yummy lemon butter sauce. Lemon and butter truly make the scallops mimic lobster~at far less expense.

Give these gems a try if you are a scallop fan, and let me hear how they turn out! They really are super easy to make and SO delicious. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

Pan-Seared Lemon Butter Scallops
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Ingredients

  • 8-10 fresh or frozen sea scallops
  • 2 TB real butter (or ghee)
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic salt (to taste)
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Instructions

  • Thaw scallops if frozen; pat scallops with paper towel until dry.
  • Sprinkle scallops with seasonings.
  • Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium-high until butter is melted and oil begins to sizzle.
  • Add scallops; cook 2-3 minutes on each side to get golden sear.
  • If scallops need more cooking in the middle, reduce heat to medium.
  • Cover pan and cook 1-2 more miutes until inside is just done (meat will be opaque white~not transluscent).
  • Remove scallops from heat; transfer to serving dish.
  • Drizzle pan drippings over scallops.
  • Add lemon juice to pan drippings; stir over hat for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour lemon butter drippings over scallops.
  • Serve scallops over angle hair pasta, spaghetti squash, or with roasted vegetables.
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