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Sea Scallops with Brown Butter, Capers, and Lemon

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This recipe depends on getting the best scallops available. Diver scallops (which are also known as dry pack) are those that are harvested daily and never put into a brine solution. As a result the texture is meatier and they sear or grill beautifully, as opposed to those that have been soaking in a brine solution which is usually laced with tripolyphosphate and which encourages the scallop the soak up the water.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time

    Prep Time

    Difficulty Level Easy

    Ingredients

    12 fresh jumbo diver sea scallops

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    1/4 cup olive oil

    3 tbsp unsalted butter

    1 tbsp finely chopped shallot

    2 tbsp salt-packed capers, rinsed of excess salt

    1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

    1/4 cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

    Directions

    1. Remove and discard the side muscle if it’s there. Pat scallops dry with paper towels, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan or nonreactive skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. After 30 seconds, add scallops; do not crowd pan, work in batches if necessary. Sauté until well browned, about 2 minutes, then turn and briefly cook other side. 

    2. Return sauté pan to heat, add butter, and cook until it begins to foam and turn golden. Add shallot and capers, sauté for 1 minute, then add lemon juice (being careful to avoid sputtering butter) and chopped parsley.

    3. To serve, place 3 scallops on each of 4 warmed plates. Spoon butter, shallots, and capers over scallops, and serve.

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