{thirsty thursday} – pan-seared sea scallops w/ an old-school abbey ale

23 Aug

did i mention how i got promoted?!

so, when something BIG happens, i like to celebrate with food. and since i can’t eat a dozen maryland blue crabs right now, i opted for other aquatic delicacies…

a huge pile of freshly steamed wild-caught pink shrimp, colorado sweet corn on the cob, and delicious pan-seared sea scallops.

i take a lot of pride in being able to make really really good scallops.  tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth amazing scallops!  i call them “meat marshmallows” — so delicious! i’m really missing both the accessibility and lower cost of seafood from living on the east coast… this meal wasn’t cheap. but hey, i just got promoted, and so i wanted to treat myself!  i deserve it!

if you’ve never tried to make your own scallops because you’re scared of screwing up, i’m here to take away that fear my friends.  it’s really very simple to cook them, just keep it like most things should be in life –

low and slow.

begin with 2 tablespoons of good butter.  not just something you spread on toast, you want to splurge a little.  i always opt for plugra.  it’s amazing and whenever i make my mashed potatoes with it, people freak out.  i just love it. i usually go for unsalted, and just add salt to the dish if needed.

heat butter on a low setting.  sprinkle scallops with a little S&P, then place in pan, cooking them on low to medium heat for about 7-8 minutes on one side.  shift the pan around so they do not stick… you’ll want the sides to brown a little, creating all those yummy juices.  flip them only once, like a good steak.  as they finish cooking on the second side, tilt your pan a little to gather and pour the drippings over the scallops, like so :

thanks to my roommate for posing for this image

continue to do this every-so-often as the second side finishes cooking, about another 7-8 minutes – you’ll see that the flesh slightly changes from pinkish to white.  the butter and salt combined with the sugars from the scallops create this wonderful sauce that you can almost cook the scallops in when you do this. it’s the secret to super moist, tender, sweet scallops. my roommate and i literally closed our eyes when we were eating them, it was a heavenly experience.

it polished off so nicely with this highly recommended abbey ale from st. bernardus, an apparently very old brewery in belgium.  it’s a specialty beer, and may not be easy to find, but SO worth it for any beer connoisseur… it was unlike any beer i’ve ever had. mild yet flavourful, hints of deep and rich caramel, finished very smooth with champagne like qualities in the yeast.  it really complimented the scallops perfectly!

12 Responses to “{thirsty thursday} – pan-seared sea scallops w/ an old-school abbey ale”

  1. Laura Lane August 23, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    CONGRATS on the promotion! So exciting and I’m sure well deserved 🙂 This looks great – I’m always intimidated by scallops because I’m convinced I’ll either under or over cook them, but I might just give it a try now 🙂


    • cooking with audrey August 23, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      thanks so much Laura! i was always intimidated, too – until a fish monger told me the specifics. i get ’em right every time now… the key is the low temp, and not to scorch them… then just let ’em melt right on your tongue… mmm, mmm, mmm 🙂


  2. mylifeisthebestlife August 23, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    I’m SO SO SO happy about your promotion!

    And now I want to write a poem about meat marshmallows. I predict it would probably be a limerick.

    EVERYTHING in life should be low and slow. Except when it’s high and fast.


  3. fabliss August 23, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR PROMOTION!!!! 🙂 the scallops look delish!


  4. anthony0358 August 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    oh my! I love this , especially the ALE!


  5. A Surprise Called Life August 24, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    Ohhh I’m not normally a beer drinker, but when I am, it’s with some divine seafood like your dish!


  6. Bunny Eats Design August 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    I love meat marshmallows! I always cook them hot and fast and roe intact, often wrapped in a sliver of bacon. But I will try low and slow next time.


  7. Nurse Frugal August 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Looks delicious! My husband LOVES scallops!!!!!


  8. Becca's Green Kitchen August 30, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Yay! Congrats on the promotion!! You earned it! So exciting. What a lovely dinner to celebrate!



  1. {thirsty thursday – celebrating 33-years with pan-seared scallops, and my favourite beer ever} | food & foto - November 21, 2013

    […] in some amazing butter… click here to see the best and only cooking method one should use to make these decadent sea-dwellers. like […]


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