Pan Searing Scallops

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jonk, May 26, 2014.

  1. jonk

    jonk

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    I've been taught to pan sear scallops as follows: start with dry scallops. Pre-heat a non-stick fry pan coated with a bit of oil over medium high heat until just smoking. Sprinkle scallops lightly with coarse salt  Sear quickly on both sides to a caramel brown crust. Scallops will release when it's time to turn and to remove.

    This usually works perfectly. But every once in a while (like last night), the scallops will stick to the pan and need some serious nudging to loosen, with the risk of losing that tasty crust.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?  
     
  2. mikael

    mikael

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    Similar to yours technique.

    Dry scallops. Pan smoking hot.
    But I only sear on one side.

    When it's time to turn them I add a tablespoon of butter. remove from the heat turn them and let them finish in the butter.

    If I'm in doubt I'll test them with my petty. The core temperature should be just warm. Never hot.

    Mikael
     
  3. grande

    grande

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    Depending on the pan, using non stick pans on super high heat will kill your non stick. In my experience this technique will work with a normal pan, meaning if it stuck you could use a spatula to scrape it loose without scratching the pan. Troubleshooting? Make sure the scallops hit the oil when you put them in the pan.
     
  4. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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    I never use a non stick pan. You just don't get the same sear from them
     
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  5. dcarch

    dcarch

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    What do you mean by "Dry scallops"? Makes a difference.

    Use dried dry scallops to have the best results.

    For the very perfect results, sous dry vide scallops to exact temperature, paper towel dry and into freezer for 10 minutes, then sear on red hot pan for a few seconds. This way it will make no difference how big and how cold each scallops you start out with.

    dcarch
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    There are also scallops that are dry packed (no preservatives or liquids) and then there are the wet pack to which chemicals to preserve are added. The first one more $ but in my opinion far superior.  For the best  order DIVER scallops
     
  7. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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  8. dcarch

    dcarch

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    Sous vide scallops Realllllllllllllllly? Yes and no.

    Scallops are like eggs, every few degrees in cooking temperature make a different in texture. If you like tough dried out scallops cooked at 212 F, you should just boil the scallops, sous vide will make absolutely no sense.

    Scallops are very expensive and they are so delicate. I have found that I, as well as many others, enjoy the texture the best if they are cooked at 122F, no higher than 125F, and no less than 120F.

    So far, All the other methods I have tried I have not been able to overcome the law of thermodynamics, they all gave me tough 1/3 top and bottom layer, good 1/3 second layers and 1/3 raw sushi center.

    So I take the easy way out and use sous vide, and it’s perfect 122F scallops everytime.

    dcarch

    sous vide scallops on couscous

     
  9. grande

    grande

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    Is this a work question or home question? Sometimes home stoves dont put out enough heat to really sear them. Depends on your pans
     
  10. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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    I'm just coming to the conclusion that you would rather sous vide every protein on the world.

    I as well as I'm sure many, many people on this board can sear a pretty perfect scallop without sous vide.
     
  11. dcarch

    dcarch

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    I totally agree with you. There are plenty of skillful chefs on this forum. 

    dcarch
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
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  12. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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    Well if you feel you can't cook well without SV'ing everything first than go for it. I just dont think you should be persuading everybody to SV everything beforehand because you personally do t want to mess up a rib or a scallop. Instead how bout helping some people out with some other techniques. You can't make a food cheap cut with anything besides SV? You csnt slow roast a leg of lamb? Smoke or braise.

    I get it, your obsessed with SV, but jeeeez
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  13. dcarch

    dcarch

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    My posts have been exchanging cooking ideas with the OP, in no way I had try to persuade anyone to abandon what works for him or her, certainly I had no intention in making you change your ways.

    If my posting ideas in a cooking forum in the sous vide techniques offend you, I am very sorry. 

    I understand you work for a well known restaurant here in NYC, chances are I have eaten many of your delicious dishes done the traditional way more than once. I lunch with clients several times a week in fine restaurants in NYC for the past many years. I will be in one tomorrow. It would be amazing if I will be eating what you cook.

    dcarch
     
  14. beastmasterflex

    beastmasterflex

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    Get a debuyer pan. You're welcome.
     
  15. someday

    someday

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    I've had delicious sous vide scallops before...and I've had delicious traditional scallops before. Sous vide is another tool in the chef's arsenal. I personally love it, and I think it works wonders with vegetables and most proteins. 

    Most seafood I don't do sous vide. Not to say it could not or should not be done, but I find traditional pan-searing more to my liking with seafood. 

    I also want to say that I really don't understand the backlash against sous vide, in general, on this forum. Kind of silly, since it now a well regarded, industry wide practice (at least in many, many fine dining kitchens). Chances are, if you've eaten in a truly fine dining restaurant in the last 10 years, you've experienced sous vide. Whether you knew it or not. 
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  16. beastmasterflex

    beastmasterflex

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    Sous vide scallops are for hacks. There I said it I deleted it, but repeated it. My personally favorite is to crosshatch the top of the scallop (that's the very flat shiney side not the rounded side) then sear, you get a larger surface to caramelize.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  17. vic cardenas

    vic cardenas

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    I'd never sear scallops in a teflon pan.

    I'd also never turn up the flame on one so high it smokes either! I read somewhere that it is toxic when you burn off the teflon like that. 

    At the country club, we would grab a cast iron pan and turn it on high. We would store the scallops in a perf pan on top of a half pan to keep them dry. Dab them with a paper towel when you pull them out of the perf pan and sprinkle them with paprika. When the cast iron is screaming hot, I would pour in some oil and put the scallops down in the oil right away and give them a little twist to release them. Turn off the burner to cool the pan down. Sear both sides in this manner for about a minute. The crust would be dark brown and reddish orange from the paprika and perfectly crispy, the interior would be a bit raw... but to the point where it was still warm.

    Perfect scallops.

    We would salt with sea salt, drizzle some mango syrup across them and serve it with a warm corn relish, sauteed on the same station, next to the cast iron pan with the scallops. 
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
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  18. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    -dry your fresh beautiful scallops

    -heat oil in cast iron or stainless steel

    -season with salt

    -sear for a minute or so on each side depending on the size of your scallops. Don't poke, don't shove, don't peek, just leave it alone. Let it do it's thing.
     
  19. knifeforhire89

    knifeforhire89

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    My personal favorite is dried, salted, lightly dusted with guajillo pepper,seared in cast iron, and topped with softened butter :)
     
  20. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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    Sorry if I came off harsh. I just feel like if people are asking for advice we should help them with what they are asking. OP was asking about searing scallops.

    Again I apologize for coming off like an @$$, didn't mean to. I am just not as passionate about SV'ing everything as you are. Last week was the steak and the rib and now the scallops. I truly applaud you for your enthusiasm about it however, and that's not sarcasm. It's sometimes hard for people to find passion and it seems as if you have yours.

    CT