Scallops are very easy to prepare for cooking. Just rinse them under cool water and pat them dry. Check over the scallops as you’re handling them and remove the side muscle if you find any still attached. They can be seared, grilled, poached or even eaten raw if they’re very fresh. They cook very quickly and become tough and chewy if overcooked.
THE MOST POPULAR METHOD OF COOKING SCALLOPS
(Just as Billy Mullis cooks them)
Simply melt a little butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sear the scallops. Sear them for about a minute and a half on both sides, just enough to get a golden crust and barely cook them through. To get a really crispy crust, make sure the scallops are dry as possible before going into the pan and salt them only at the very last second. Use the same method if grilling scallops.
LINGUINE WITH SCALLOPS
¾ lb. scallops
¼ c. olive oil, plus 1 Tbs.
4 Tbs. (½ stick) butter
1 Tbs. minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ c. toasted plain bread crumbs
½ c. minced fresh parsley leaves
1 lb. linguine or spaghetti
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If you are using large scallops cut in ½-inch chunks. Combine olive oil, butter and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the garlic turns pale tan, stirring occasionally. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the scallops, salt and pepper and cook just until the surface of the scallops turns opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and half the parsley and turn off the heat. Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta until it is tender but firm. When it is just about done, reheat the scallops over medium heat. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Toss pasta with the sauce and the remaining olive oil; add a little pasta cooking water if necessary and top with the remaining parsley. Yield: 4 servings.