Sea Scallops are probably one of the most delicious organisms that come out of the ocean. Most people I’m sure, know of the classic “Bacon-wrapped Scallop” appetizer. I am sure you have probably had it at weddings or other similar events, as I have. Due to my background in the culinary world, I am sad to say that I have also had to serve more than enough of them in my early culinary career days. The scallops are tiny and consumed by more than enough bacon, though many people reading this are already thinking: “So?!” Typically those bacon-wrapped scallops you are getting at whatever event you are at, come frozen, in bulk, ready to toss onto a parchment lined sheet pan and baked at 350 degrees until the bacon is cooked. By the time they come out, the bacon is crisp (awesome!) however, the scallop is not nearly the way it is best served, in my humble opinion. Often rubbery and chewy at that point, most people won’t notice because of the delicious bacon wrapping. It’s only the bacon that makes it somewhat palatable in this case!
A truly awesome scallop should not be wrapped in bacon, the simpler the better! Because one of the best preparations for a fresh scallop is just a simple pan sear, it doesn’t need a complex accompaniment. The idea is to enhance and showcase the main ingredient, not cover it up. The recipe I am giving below is a very fast light and simple preparation with minimal ingredients. Before I get there though I just want to mention why this would be a good food choice.
Aside from the flavor, scallops are a healthy source of protein, O-3 fatty acid and high in vitamin B12. Because I have mentioned the health benefits of O-3 fats in an earlier article I don’t need to restate that. However, vitamin B12 is important to us because it assists with brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular health, emotional well-being, as well as aids in energy production. B12 is mostly found in animal products including dairy and nuts. If your B12 levels are low, you can experience fatigue, weakness, trouble with memory, anemia and in severe cases, brain damage! Luckily if you eat animal products, you are probably in the clear!
Magnesium is another abundant nutrient in scallops (other seafood as well) which I want to touch on. As one of the planets’ most abundant minerals, it also plays a very important role during various biochemical functions in our body such as energy production and muscle contraction. This is a supplement worth looking into if you experience some of the deficiency symptoms including: fatigue, muscle twitches, cramps, and occasional difficulty swallowing because of a “lump in the throat” among others. Robb Wolf recommends a product called Natural Calm. There are quite a few different Magnesium supplements on the market which may be decent, however, try to stay away from magnesium oxide. According to Robb Wolf, your body is not able to absorb and use it well.
*The recipe below does not contain ingredient measurements as it is more of a guideline. The one plate shown contains about 1/4 of an avocado, 1/4 of a ripe mango and a few slices of English cucumber.
Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Mango, Cucumber and Avocado
Sea Scallops (as fresh as possible)
Walnut oil (for searing)
Salt & Pepper
Method of Preparation
1. Peel and thinly slice mango, avocado and cucumber. Toss together in a bowl and dress with fresh squeezed lime juice to taste.
2. Wash and roughly chop cilantro.
3. Add the cilantro to the bowl of mango, avocado and cucumber and lightly season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Turn the heat on high under your saute pan and add about 2 TBSP of walnut oil.
5. With a paper towel, dry off the scallops from excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper.
6. When the pan is very hot, but not smoking, carefully place the seasoned surface of the scallops down in the pan. In about 90 seconds to two minutes, when scallops have caramelized to golden brown, add the pat of butter to the pan, flip the scallops and turn off the heat. As the butter browns, carefully spoon it over the scallops. Let sit in the pan for about a minute and then remove and consume over the mango salad.
*Note: the scallops should NOT be well done and firm!