Scallops w/ Sriracha-Lime Butter
Last week I received an amazing shipment of seafood which contained, among other things, a nice-sized bag of Wild Alaska Scallops (also called Weathervane Scallops).I am incredibly grateful to The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute for sending me these samples. What a treat!
Even though I’ve been talking a lot about weeknight dinners lately, I admit that weeknight dinners were not on my mind when I first saw these scallops. A romantic evening with the hubs is where my brain drifted.
But then I realized that there were enough for the kids to try too. What a great opportunity to let their palates taste something new and delicious! If it seems odd to serve big lush beautiful wild Alaska Weathervane Scallops to youngsters, and even stranger to be whipping them up quickly as a weeknight dinner, here’s my logic:
Scallops can be expensive but so are pre-made dinners, convenience items like prepared sauces, rotisserie chickens and fresh pasta or going out for dinner instead of cooking at home. Sometimes it makes sense to cook something that’s a bit pricey if it means dinner will come together super-fast. And scallops are amazingly quick to cook. The fact that they’re a luxury item makes my life easier too: I don’t have to do much else in order to make the entire meal memorable and fabulous.
I did not pay for these scallops, but, at the end of our delicious and quickly-cooked meal, I sat back and said, “We need to have these babies more often!” Interestingly, J agreed (note that he was dipping his scallops in ketchup and not in Sriracha-Lime Butter. The point: He gobbled them up without complaint and I will therefore be making these again soon!).
This recipe will work as a starter course as well but if you want to use scallops as the center of a quick meal as I did, here’s the plan of attack.
- Get some rice cooking.
- While the rice cooks, make the Sriracha-Lime Butter (see below).
- Prepare a vegetable or salad (I served the scallops and rice with raw sugar snap peas. The peas work beautifully next to the Sriracha-Lime Butter and need no more work than a quick rinse. Raw zucchini wedges, steamed/stir-fried broccoli or sliced cucumbers are good alternatives).
- Shortly before the rice is done, cook the scallops (see below).
- Warm the Sriracha-Lime Butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and take it to the table so that everyone can drizzle as much or as little as they’d like.
Before I give you the recipe, I want to tell you a bit more about Alaska scallops.
Alaska Scallops are well-known for their size and are the largest scallops available anywhere. Like all Alaska seafood, they are harvested from the wild and are responsibly managed to ensure an abundant and continued supply.
All Alaska Scallops are harvested in the Gulf of Alaska and are immediately hand-shucked and then frozen, which allows them to have consistent quality year round.
Due to their creamy white color and melt-in-you-mouth texture most people believe that they are the world’s best scallops. I most definitely love them and so does my whole family (even baby M!).
For more info on Alaskan seafood check out Wild Alaska Flavor.
- 5 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ tsp sriracha
- a pinch of table or kosher salt
- 16 large Alaska (Weathervane) scallops
- coarse salt, like kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- Put 4 tablespoons of the butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time until melted.
- Stir in the honey, lime juice, sriracha and the pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Using some paper towels, pat the scallops dry. Measure the oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into a large cast iron skillet. Heat it over medium-high heat until it is very hot. While it’s heating sprinkle the tops of the scallops with the coarse salt (one little pinch of salt per scallop).
- When the oil and butter is so hot that it’s almost smoking add the scallops, salted side down. Sprinkle the top of each scallop with another little pinch of salt and then leave the scallops alone until their undersides are well-browned, about 2 minutes. If you try to lift a scallop and it’s stuck to the pan, it means it isn’t ready yet. It should release fairly easily if it has well-browned.
- Flip the scallops over and cook until the other side is browned as well. Remove the scallops from the pan and put them on a plate lined with paper towel to drain off some of the oil.
- Warm the sriracha-lime butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until heated through.
- Serve the scallops drizzled with the spicy tangy butter. Sprinkle with the cilantro.
A great picture for sharing: