This Scallops with Caper Shallot sauce recipe is a decadent seafood dish that will make you feel like you’re dining out at a white-tablecloth Italian restaurant.
One of the best parts of this recipe is how easy it is to make and most of the ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and fridge.
These scallops I was able to pick up from Costco. They were on sale for $9.99/lb. in the freezer section. They thawed well in the microwave. They were fully defrosted in the microwave after about 5 minutes. Aften taking them out of the microwave, I let them sit out while I made the rest of the meal for about half an hour.
How Do I Cook Scallops?
Scallops seem more difficult to cook than they actually are. All you need is: scallops, oil, seasonings and a hardy frying pan.
A key element of sautéing and searing down scallops (or any meat, for that matter) is you want it to be as dry as possible before it hits the pan. This means you’ll have to dry it with paper towels and then season with whatever you see fit. This recipe just calls for salt and pepper, but you can use whatever seasonings you’d like. If you season with salt too early and let your protein set out, the salt will actually draw the water out of the meat and not only will it become impossible to dry, but your dish will be tough after it’s cooked. To avoid this common downfall, season just before your scallops hit the pan.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in your pan and heat over medium-high heat. Season your scallops as the pan is heating and then add them to the pan. Be sure not to crowd the pan, so you might have to sautée your protein in two batches.
After you add the scallops to the pan, let sear for about two minutes per side. Let them cook and try not to touch them (even if it’s super tempting!). After they sear and turn a golden brown, turn them onto their uncooked side and continue searing for another two minutes.
Four minutes is all the time the scallops should need. They should be firm to the touch but still “springy” in the middle. Cut into one if you’re unsure if they are cooked correctly. The middle of the scallop should be opaque and there should be a white ring around the outside of the scallop.
What Kind of Noodles?
For this dish, it doesn’t much matter what kind of noodle you choose to complement the scallops. My favorite is plain ol’ spaghetti but you can use any kind you like.
When making your pasta, make sure to cook it to just al dente or even a minute or two under. You will be adding it back into the sauce where it will continue to cook for another minute or two.
Should I Make the Caper Shallot Sauce Before or After the Scallops?
For this recipe, I made the scallops last after making the pasta and the sauce, but you can also make this recipe in reverse (and save yourself cleaning a pan). If you make the scallops last, they will remain hot for serving but if you make them first, you will be able to use the pan you made them in for the pan sauce. It’s personal preference in which order you prefer to make this dish- you really can’t go wrong!
Did you make this Scallops with Caper Shallot Sauce recipe? Tell me how it turned out in the comments below.