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Video: Cook sea scallops with zesty sautéed asparagus

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    >>> willie, you ready? this sunday marks national scottish day.

    >> we brought in the scallop diver from scotland. he hand dives for king scallops from the bottom of the atlantic. he's here with a simple dish for us. good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> tell me about this process. you actually physically dive and collect scallops with your bare hands?

    >> well, yes. it's as simple as that, as classic as that. people have been diving for the shellfish for thousands of years. we're just doing what people have done thousands of years.

    >> and you were just out recently the other day.

    >> two days ago i was on the seabed. these are your american dive scallops. these are scottish dive scallops and they're very, very different. just the same. they're all king scallops.

    >> these are live right now.

    >> right. the big americans that have come down from maine.

    >> tamron and i feel good here. they're sitting here alive, they're in a simmering pan.

    >> to do them honor, what you've got to do is leave nothing that gets in the way. i'm going to pop some salt on each of these.

    >> i confessed to you, call lops are incredibly difficult to cook because it's so easy to overcook them and make them chewy.

    >> you want to use an oil like this, don't use olive oil .

    >> really?

    >> yeah, oil with a high burning point. olive oil starts smoking way too soon. it is smokey when you cook them.

    >> right.

    >> i've got them on medium heat. medium to hot.

    >> what size are these?

    >> these are really big. dive scallops generally are pretty big. but just good quality. and here --

    >> now also i hear the spacing is key. if you put them too close together, that can be a problem.

    >> yeah, that can cause a problem. and you want to get them really golden.

    >> how many minutes on each side?

    >> yeah, i mean, you don't really want to have more than three.

    >> oh, wow.

    >> so what i'm going to do now is put in the butter.

    >> okay.

    >> put the garlic into the butter.

    >> what does that do?

    >> well, just ensures you don't burn the garlic.

    >> i've never heard that tip before.

    >> okay. i've never seen so many spoons in my life. it's brilliant.

    >> okay.

    >> and now we're just doing this. and you're spooning that butter over there, get them all golden.

    >> how long does this process take? in the pan, out of the pan?

    >> great question. and important one. three minutes.

    >> is that all?

    >> yeah, three minutes on one side. you see it go half way up, flip them over, start on the other side, then put in the butter with the garlic on top. no more.

    >> okay. and we've got a little asparagus to pair with it.

    >> yeah. that's really important.

    >> okay. something green with them. nothing overpowering. i'm going to pop a little bit of chile on that.

    >> nice little heat there.

    >> some lemon, as well.

    >> lovely.

    >> and that's it. ideally all dente.

    >> this is fantastic. and there you have a pretty easy, quick meal. seafood veggies go along with it. and you have another preparation here with some pancheta?

    >> yeah, a little bit of panchetta there. it's been popped in last minute, as well. but the key thing and so important is to honor the fish. honor the fact this is an absolute diamond. it's hand picked.

    >> what a beautiful way to put it.

    >> you've got to treat it with hand picked love.

    >> guy, thank you so much. the recipe, by the way, today.com

TODAY recipes
updated 4/3/2014 4:07:21 PM ET 2014-04-03T20:07:21

Recipe: Pan-roasted scallops with crispy pancetta

  • 12 scallops
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped, plus a tablespoon for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 12 tablespoons of butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, diced
  • Salt and pepper

Set oven broiler on high. In a separate small frying pan, add the tablespoon of olive oil and heat on medium heat.  Add diced pancetta and fry until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.

Place scallops in a large hot ovenproof frying pan with a tablespoon of sunflower oil, medium to high heat for approximately 3 minutes. Don't overcrowd. Look for a caramelized, seared look, turn once.

Drop a tablespoon of crushed garlic (one clove) and chopped parsley (a pinch) and black pepper, a tablespoon of butter, placed on top of each scallop.

Sprinkle with a little salt on the scallops and place them-3 to a plate. Spoon pancetta on and finish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley for garnish.

Recipe: Seared sea scallops with zesty sauteed asparagus

  • For the scallops:
  • 12 scallops
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 4 tblsp. butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • For the asparagus:
  • 24 thin asparagus
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling at end
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tblsp lemon juice
  • Thin slices of lemon for garnish (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

To make the scallops:

Wash scallops in cold water and pat dry. Set large pan on med-high heat with tablespoon of sunflower oil. Dust scallops lightly with salt and place in the pan without overcrowding-two pans may be needed. Cook for approximately 3 -4 minutes on one side and turn over. Let scallops cook until opaque half way up the meat then turn them

Drop in 4 tablespoons of butter into the pan. Lower the heat a little so as not to burn the butter. As butter melts, spoon the butter and scallop juice over the scallops as they caramelize (tilting pan if needed), approximately 3 minutes more.

Place the seared scallops (3 to a plate). Add black pepper.

To make the asparagus:

Wash asparagus and pat dry with paper or kitchen towel. Cut the tough bottoms of the stalk and using a vegetable peeler, peel the lower 1/3 of the asparagus. In a large sauté pan (or wide frying pan) add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes (if using) and swirl the pan to release heat into the olive oil

Add asparagus and sauté, using tongs to move the asparagus around the pan for 2 to 3 minutes or to desired tenderness. At the last two minutes, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice into the pan (avoiding any seeds dropping into the pan).

Sautee for 30 seconds more letting juice reduce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place asparagus alongside the scallops. Drizzle some extra olive oil on top. Add a thin lemon slice on top for garnish (optional).

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