Seared scallops with tarragon butter
- 12 oz. 350 g fresh or frozen sea scallop – see "Tips" section belowfresh or frozen sea scallops – see "Tips" section below
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 4 tbsp 4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1 garlic clove, finely choppedgarlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1⁄3 cup 80 ml chicken broth
- 4 tbsp 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 9 oz. 260 g green asparagus
- ½ tsp ½ tsp salt, for boiling
Scallops with tarragon butter
- Prepare the scallops by removing the side muscle (if applicable), rinse and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, cut a series of shallow, criss-cross lines into the flat surfaces of each scallop. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the scallops and oil into equal batches. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, over high heat. When the oil becomes hot and shiny, lower the temperature to medium. Add the first batch of scallops to the pan. Sear for about 1.5–2 minutes per side, or until golden crusts form on each side. Continue with the remaining batches, searing until golden, and remove from the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add 3/4 of the butter to the frying pan. Once melted, add the garlic and stir until softened. Pour in the chicken broth and cook uncovered, until the mixture has reduced and thickened.
- Add the remaining butter and chopped herbs to the pan, stirring until combined. Return the scallops to the pan, coat with the herbed butter, and then set aside once heated through.
- Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water. Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Place the asparagus in the boiling water. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until it turns bright green, and then strain in a colander. If not serving immediately, submerge the asparagus in a bowl of ice water, to prevent further cooking.
- For serving, plate the scallops with the asparagus, and drizzle the warm tarragon butter on top.
Everything you need to about scollops
There is a variety of scallops. For this recipe, we use larger scallops, called "sea scallops." Sea scallops are commonly sold by the pound (450 g) and on average, there are 20-30 sea scallops, per pound. However, the amounts sold, per pound, can vary.
Frozen sea scallops are packaged with a label, indicating the rough number of scallops, per pound. For example, a label "10/20," means that there are 10 to 20 scallops, per pound. Other common labels are U15, or U10, which means there are under 15 scallops, or 10 scallops, per pound. The fewer scallops per pound, the larger they are!
Prepping frozen sea scallops
Scallops are mostly sold with the side muscle already removed, especially when frozen. If the side muscle is still attached, it will need to be removed prior to cooking. For frozen scallops, follow the thawing instructions on the package.
Prepping raw scallops
Prior to cooking, refrigerate the scallops in the original packaging, unopened, in the coldest part of the fridge. Ideally, prepare fresh scallops on the same day of purchase, or by the next day. To prep, remove the side muscle (if applicable), rinse scallops under running water, and pat dry, prior to cooking. If plans change, the fresh scallops can be frozen; place the unopened, original packaging into an air-tight freezer bag. They can be frozen for about 3 to 6 months.
How long do the scollops keep fresh?
Cooked scallops can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to three days.
The tarragon butter is prepared in step 3.