Reasons to love scallops: they’re elegant, cooked in minutes and melt in your mouth. Check out this recipe seared with chorizo.
Scallops, man. They’re just the best. (Eating a lot of them recently has rendered me inarticulate — that’s how good they are.) Seared scallops take virtually no time to make, and once you know a few basics, they’re pretty hard to screw up. And yet they seem so special. I don’t know how they do it.
This 10-minute pan-seared scallops recipe makes a good thing even better with the addition of a little bit of Spanish chorizo. The flavor and texture contrasts with the seared scallops are just perfect. And I recommend serving it all over a bed of basmati rice pilaf, another best-in-class version of a simple, killer recipe.
I don’t care how they do it.
Check out the video!
You’ll find all of this information in the recipe below, but I just want to add a quick note to say that success with scallops is at least 70% achieved at the store.
How to Buy Scallops
Buy a pound of the freshest scallops you can find. Like all fresh seafood, they should smell good and briny like the sea.
Buy sea scallops, not bay scallops. (Bay scallops are much smaller and typically used in different types of dishes.)
Perhaps most importantly, buy “DRY“ scallops, meaning they haven’t been injected with a chemical solution to plump them up. Dry scallops both taste way better and sear way better.
And finally, buy “10-20” scallops which means there are 10 to 20 of them in a pound.
Seared Chorizo and ScallopsCarolyn Cope
- 1 pound dry sea scallops 10-20 (see note)
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces Spanish-style chorizo
- 1 tablespoon safflower oil or other high-heat vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Chopped chives to garnish optional
- If your scallops still have the little piece of muscle attached to the side, remove and discard it. (See video for technique.) Pat scallops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Dice the chorizo into small cubes (about 1/4-inch). Heat a 12-inch nonstick pan over high heat. Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on several sides — just a few minutes. Remove chorizo to a bowl.
- Add oil to pan and keep over high heat. When very hot, add scallops without crowding. Cook 60 seconds without moving, then add butter and cook 30 seconds more. Use tongs to flip each scallop and cook just until done to your liking. I like to pull them off the heat before they're opaque in the center, which, depending on size, may mean just 30 seconds or so on the second side.
- To serve, place a few scallops and some of the chorizo on each plate and sprinkle with chives, if using. These are great over basmati rice pilaf.
Carolyn is the voice behind the popular blog Umami Girl and writes frequently for other food-related publications. Equal parts live-to-eat and eat-to-live, she holds certificates from both the French Culinary Institute and the eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition program. Carolyn has lived and worked in New York and London and currently resides with her husband and two daughters in a sweet little seaside town in New Jersey.