Why dry sea scallops are amazing, and what does “dry” mean?
Ok. So you’re at State Street Meats and you’re wondering what all the hubbub is about their “DRY” sea scallops? To the untrained eye, a scallop is well … a scallop.
Oh do not be fooled! There are huge differences between “wet” and “dry” scallops that affect everything from how they taste to how they sear. Knowing the difference will up your appetizer/entrée game to the next level of greatness!
Oddly, the terms “wet” and “dry” have nothing to do with the species of scallop, but actually describe how the scallops have been preserved after harvest.
So what does “dry” mean? Dry scallops are caught, shucked, and cleaned within four short hours of harvest. This process is the best way to protect the quality of the scallop without any artificial preservatives. So yes, this means the “dry” scallop is going to taste as wonderful as a freshly shucked scallop from the sea.
Where can I get these AMAZING DRY SEA SCALLOPS? Believe it or not, State Street Meats has these gems right here in St. Joseph, Michigan.
Now for the recipe …
First things first. When preparing dry sea scallops from State Street Meats, it is CRUCIAL to pat the scallops dry before searing, broiling, or grilling! Moisture on the surface of the scallop will literally put a kibosh on your scallops from developing that golden delicious crust we all love.
Grab a CAST-IRON skillet. Non-stick pans just won’t do the job.
Now, get a high-heat cooking oil. Anything from vegetable oil to canola oil to bacon grease will work wonderfully.
Dry Sea Scallops from State Street Meats
High-heat Cooking Oil (canola, vegetable oil, olive oil, or even bacon grease)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Paprika (for a little smoky flavor)
Red Pepper Flakes (if you like a little kick!)
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
Fresh Herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary, etc. choose your favorite!)
- Soften butter, add half a tablespoon(ish) of lemon juice and 1teaspoon of minced garlic. Stir it up and set it aside.
- Pat your scallops dry. To achieve that golden crust, you’ll need to remove all excess liquid from the surface of your scallops.
- Season all sides of the scallops with salt, pepper, paprika and a pinch of red pepper flakes (if you like things a little spicy).
- Preheat your cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, adding just enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Once the oil/fat begins to shimmer, add those amazing dry scallops! Leave an inch or so of space around each one so they don’t steam each other. Now leave them alone as they cook! No stirring, rearranging or fussing … just wait.
- Allow the first side to develop a nice golden crust, this usually takes about 2 or 3 minutes. Take a peek. Are they seared? If yes, it’s time to flip.
- If ready to flip, start turning your scallops with either a spatula or tongs. It’s always best to start with the ones you put in the pan first.
- Add a tablespoon or so of the butter mixture to the pan. Cook for another minute or so, while basting the tops of the scallops with the butter as it melts. Smaller scallops need about a minute to cook through, while larger ones should cook for another 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle some of those fresh herbs on top and serve with sliced lemon.
- If you LOVE lemony butter, you may want to melt the remaining butter mixture and dip away!