Tip: How to Buy and Sear Scallops
"I'd almost go as far as to say that scallops are the darling of the sea," Chef Stone says of the meaty mollusks. "They're mildly sweet with a beautifully tender texture." But they're also deceptive. Chef Stone points out that people might think they're easy to pick out and cook, but there's more than meets the eye. "If you can buy them in their half shell then you're having a great day! Whichever kind you buy, though, look for scallops that are a uniform pearly white colour with firm, slightly moist flesh. They shouldn't be either completely dry or dripping with moisture, and they should look clean and intact. If possible, I'd avoid frozen scallops, as the flavour and texture diminishes once frozen."
How does the chef like his scallops? He says broiling them with a beautiful homemade compound butter and panko breadcrumbs is the way to go. To do this, place the scallops in their half shell onto a baking sheet and sprinkle a pinch of panko breadcrumbs onto each scallop. Then layer a small slice of compound butter (chili, garlic, and parsley are complementary flavors), and finish with another sprinkling of panko. Once you've done that, go ahead and stick the tray of scallops under the broiler. The scallops come out warm, with this beautiful buttery breadcrumb coating.
Serve just as they are, straight out of the oven in their shell. Scallops served simply like this are an impressive bite to begin any party and go well with a glass of cold bubbly.