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      RECIPE TITLE "Seared Scallops" Author: How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart Copyright © 2000 by Pam Anderson, All rights reserved.

    yields 4 time--- difficulty moderate


    1-1/2 pounds "dry" sea scallops
    2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
    Salt and ground black pepper
    Lemon wedges (optional) or flavored butter


    1. Set a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes while preparing the meal and seasoning the scallops. (To speed up the heating process, the skillet can be set over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.) Three to four minutes before searing the scallops, turn on the exhaust fan and increase the heat to high.
    2. To season the scallops, set them on a plate and drizzle with oil; turn to coat. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
    3. A minute or so after the residual oils in the skillet send up wisps of smoke, put the scallops in the pan. Cook over high heat until they develop a thick, rich brown crust, about 2 minutes. Turn them and continue to cook over high heat until the other sides develop a thick, rich brown crust, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the pan and let stand a couple of minutes.
    4. Serve with lemon wedges.

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    How to Cook Without a Book How to Cook Without a Book Pam Anderson grew up watching her parents and grandparents make dinner every night by simply taking the ingredients on hand and cooking them with the techniques they knew. Times have changed. Today we have an overwhelming array of ingredients and a fraction of the cooking time, but Anderson believes the secret to getting dinner on the table lies in the past. After a long day, who has the energy to look up a recipe and search for the right ingredients before ever starting to cook? To make dinner night after night, Anderson believes the first two steps--looking for a recipe, then scrambling for the exact ingredients--must be eliminated. Understanding that most recipes are simply variations on a theme, she innovatively teaches technique, eliminating the need for recipes. Once the technique or formula is mastered, Anderson encourages inexperienced as well as veteran cooks to spread their culinary wings. For example, after learning to sear a steak, it's understood that the same method works for scallops, tuna, hamburger, swordfish, salmon, pork tenderloin and more. You never need to look at a recipe again. Vary the look and flavor of these dishes with interchangeable pan sauces, salsas, relishes and butters. Best of all, these recipes rise above the mundane Monday-through-Friday fare. Imagine homemade ravioli and lasagna for weeknight supper, or from-scratch tomato sauce before the pasta water has even boiled. Last-minute guests? Dress up simple tomato sauce with capers and olives or shrimp and red pepper flakes. Drizzle sauteed chicken breasts with balsamic vinegar pan sauce. Anderson teaches you how to do it--without a recipe. Don't buy exotic ingredients and follow tedious instructions for making hor d'oeuvres. Forage through the pantry and refrigerator for quick appetizers. The ingredients are all there; the method is in your head. Master four simple potato dishes--a cake, a mash and a roast--compatible with many meals. Learn how to make the five-minute dinner salad, easily changing its look and flavor depending on the season and occasion. Tuck a few dessert techniques into your back pocket and effortlessly turn any meal into a special occasion.


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