Many years ago, I was a guest on a local television show and was asked a few personal questions to wrap up my cooking segment. The host asked if my mother was a positive cooking influence in my life. Without filtering my thoughts, I said that my mom was an awful cook and had ruined my joy of eating scallops…oops! Although this was true, I profusely apologized to my mom. We still laugh about it!
Scallops are a lean protein source and quite easy to cook. However, overcooked scallops are inedible so it’s critical to be focused for the few minutes the scallops are on the stove-top sautéing in the pan. A perfectly cooked scallop is a bit translucent and creamy in the middle. This is a delicious dish with lemon, capers and a garnish of fresh chives.
Gently rinse the scallops, pat dry and remove the tough muscle on the side of each scallop. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil together in a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat. When the oil is really hot, place each scallop in the pan with tongs and let it sit without moving for 2-3 minutes or until just cooked through. Turn over each scallop and cook for another 2-3 minutes. The scallops will develop a nice crust on the outside but remain translucent in the middle. Remove the scallops to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and let it foam and brown for about 2 minutes. Pour the butter sauce over the scallops and add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the capers and garnish with the fresh chives.