Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon& Brown Butter Pan Sauce


What is not to love about perfectly seared sea scallops dripping in a beautiful buttery lemon sauce? Nothing. This stunning yet simple dish will transform your life and it is not too difficult to master.

And if you aren’t in the mood to fuss with it, simply come to Marcello’s Ocean Grille & Spirits this week where this dish is ALWAYS on the menu and prepared perfectly.  Call to reserve your table, 956-943-7611 and we look forward to serving you!

Bon Appétit! Chef Bettina

Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon& Brown Butter Pan Sauce

4 servings

3 lemons

Small handful of chives

16 large dry sea scallops

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Pure olive oil or canola oil

3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 teaspoons drained capers

Cut 2 lemons in half and squeeze juice into a measuring glass or small bowl; you should have 1/4 cup juice. Set aside. Using a paring knife, cut ends off remaining lemon to expose flesh. Upend lemon on a cut end and remove peel and white pith from lemons; discard. Cut between membranes to release segments into bowl with juice; remove any seeds; set segments aside.

Thinly slice chives and place in a small bowl; set aside.

Pull side muscle off scallops, if needed; pat dry. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high.  Add oil to lightly coat surface (2–3 Tbsp.); heat until it shimmers and you see first wisps of smoke. Swiftly place scallops into skillet, flat side down, and cook without touching, tossing, or fussing until underside is deep golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Use a thin spatula or tongs to gently turn over; if they resist, cook another 30 seconds and try again. Cook on second side until flesh at top and bottom looks opaque but the interior is still slightly in the middle, 1–2 minutes, depending on size. Transfer scallops to a plate.

Pour off any oil in skillet and set over medium heat. Add butter and cook, swirling, until butter foams, then browns, about 2 minutes. Add reserved lemon juice and segments; vigorously stir and swirl pan to emulsify sauce. Mix in capers and reserved chives and spoon pan sauce around and over scallops.

*Bettina Tolin is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin.  She has cooked in the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Florida. She is currently the Executive Chef and owner of Marcello’s Ocean Grille & Spirits overlooking the historic lighthouse in Port Isabel.  Marcello’s Ocean Grille & Spirits was recently written up in Texas Monthly magazine as the new trending restaurant for dinner and brunch in the South Padre Island area.