Scallops can be bought either fresh or frozen. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight if they were purchased frozen. Rinse them under cold running water and dry them very well. Drying them as much as possible will make browning them much easier. If the scallops are of different sizes cut the larger ones to make fairly equal sizes for more even cooking. The timing in the following methods is for sea scallops. If you are using bay scallops, which are much smaller, the times will have to be adjusted.
HOW TO BAKE SCALLOPS
Place the scallops on a buttered cookie sheet or baking dish.
Baste them with melted butter or cooking oil.
Bake in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 6-10 minutes depending on size.
They will be opaque when they are done. Serve with melted butter and lemon.
HOW TO BROIL SCALLOPS
Place scallops on a buttered baking sheet.
Baste them with melted butter.
Place the sheet in a pre-heated broiler about 4 inches from the heat.
Broil for about 4-5 minutes.
Turn over and baste with butter.
Broil for another 4-5 minutes, depending on size. The scallops should turn opaque and be nicely browned when done.
HOW TO DEEP FRY SCALLOPS
When you deep fry scallops, they will be totally submerged in hot fat or oil. The pan used for deep frying should be deep enough to hold 2 to 3 inches of hot fat. A 4 to 6 inch deep pan is good because it helps to control spattering. If possible a conventional deep fryer works best.
The best oils to use are peanut oil, corn oil and canola oil in that order. Put enough oil in the pan to make sure the scallops can float, usually 2 to 3 inches.
1. Heat the oil to 370 degrees. A deep frying thermometer is the best way to regulate heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, wet you finger with water and flick it at the hot oil. If the oil is hot enough it will sizzle when the water hits the oil. You don’t need much water, just a small drop. Do not let the oil get too hot. If it starts to smoke it is too hot.
2. Prepare the batter or breading for the scallops.
3. Bread or batter the scallops and lower them gently into the hot fat. If you are using a conventional deep fryer have the basket in the oil before you add the scallops. Do not put them in the basket and then submerge or they will get stuck on the basket and you will lose some of the breading. Do not crowd them. It is better to fry in batches. If you put to many pieces in the hot fat at one time it will lower the temperature of the oil and cause the scallops to be greasy.
4. Deep fry the scallops until golden brown, usually about 2 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness.
5. When they are done drain them. Placing them on a rack above a cookie sheet works great but if you don’t have that paper towels on a plate will work.
BATTERS FOR DEEP FRYING
Combine; ½ cup of flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
½ cup beer
2 tablespoons cooking oil
Combine; 2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
Beat the eggs and milk together lightly.
Dip the clams in the egg mixture then in dry bread crumbs or cracker crumbs.
HOW TO GRILL SCALLOPS
Place the scallops on a buttered piece of aluminum foil, or a buttered fish basket. If the scallops are large enough, they can be placed directly on the grill, but clean and oil the grill first.
Place them on the grill over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Turn the them over, baste them and cook another 4-5 minutes until they brown on the edges and turn opaque.
It is hard to give a length of time for grilling. It can depend on things like the weather, or the temperature of the grill but 8-10 minutes is average.
HOW TO PAN FRY SCALLOPS
Rinse the scallops under cold running water and pat them as dry as possible.
Place cooking oil or a combination of ½ butter and ½ cooking oil in a heavy skillet to a depth of ¼ inch.
Heat the oil until it is sizzling but not smoking. To test the temperature of the oil, sprinkle a drop of water on the oil. If it is hot enough, the water will sizzle.
Place the scallops in the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side. If you want a little crispier coating, litely toss in seasoned flour before cooking.