|Pan Seared Scallops on a bed of Fresh Corn Risotto|
Some people prize lobster as the best seafood, but for me it's the scallop. A sweet and meaty mollusk with a taste of the sea. Sea scallops are a occasional treat, as they are expensive. When I do cook them the method I use is to just quickly sear in a smoking-hot pan with a dash of a mild olive oil and a hint of butter to finish. Perfectly Caramelized brown on the outside with a just cooked through medium-rare interior.
When buying scallops there are many on the market and you will have to choose carefully to buy only the best. For me, I always start with what are called "dry packed", not the ones soaked in a liquid that sometimes contains chemicals to plump them up. The later are low-grade scallops and will become a watery mess when cooked and boil in the pan with out the nice brown caramelization that you will want; not good. Another name to look for when buying is "day boat" which means that the boat went out and returned with the newly harvested scallops the same day and they are really fresh! Another thing to look for is the number or grade of the scallop. For example, U10 means about 10 per pound which is on the bigger side; as the number goes up the size of the scallop goes down. This is also the same size grade for other shellfish like prawns. Go out and buy the best- it will cost more, but you will be treated to some of the best shellfish available.