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Ingredient of the Week: Scallops

Scallops can be a tasty treat when cooked in butter, say chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautueau. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

“I love scallops,” says chef Thierry Rautureau. These little morsels are one of the best treats the ocean has to offer, and Thierry and chef Tom Douglas have a few tips for preparing them.

When purchasing scallops in a grocery store, Tom says, you want to look for the words “dry pack.”

“If there’s a bunch of milky-white liquid in the bottom of the scallop bowl,” says Tom, “that’s not dry.” The scallops, he adds, should be glistening, but not wet or leaking fluid.

Scallops typically are run through a solution that makes them look plump, but over time, the solution leaks out, and when you cook them, “it pours out,” Tom says. Dry pack scallops can be eaten raw like sushi, or cooked.

Tom says he likes to let his scallops sit out to room temperature; since you’re going to serve them practically raw in the middle, he says, you don’t want them to be too cold when served.

When making your scallops, Thierry recommends warming the pan first and putting a small amount of oil inside the pan. “Then I put my seasoned scallop right on top of that, and don’t touch it for 30 to 45 seconds,” he says. Do the same thing to the other side, then daub off the oil. “Put it on a nice thing of butter, with shallots around it,” he says, and with a spoon keep putting the fat on top of the scallop.

He adds that you can serve the scallops with seasonal root vegetables.

Whole Foods Markets are a proud sponsor of Seattle Kitchen’s Ingredient of the Week.

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