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Lent doesn’t have to be boring with dinners like these skillet scallops in garlic pepper sauce.
Scallops Are A Treat
Due to the high cost, scallops are a rare treat for most of us. I admit I’m partial to the organic sea scallops my local store sells but since they cost $20 for a pound, I don’t indulge often.
However, you can find scallops at a lower cost–namely pieces instead of whole or smaller bay scallops. Either will work fine in this recipe. And non-organic is cheaper too.
Of course these skillet scallops in garlic pepper sauce make a better presentation using larger whole scallops so I’m willing to bite the bullet on price for this Lenten indulgence.
A Little Bit Of Heat
That small amount of hot pepper adds so much to this dish. I admit to being partial to a small zing when it comes to seafood. The slight bit of of heat complements the sweetness of the scallops so well.
Since I grow my own jalapeños in one of my hydroponic gardens, I have easy access to fully ripe ones that are red in color. It’d be rare to find them in the produce department of any store, so red chilis can stand in here.
Now, if you’re not partial to heat in any form, just use a red bell pepper. It’ll taste just as good, but minus the heat. It’s really the pepper taste you want here so bell peppers will work very well.
Butter And Oil
Adding just a little oil to butter fortifies it so that the butter doesn’t burn or scorch so easily. It’s an old trick and one you’ll want to use here because of frying the scallops over a high-ish heat.
If you use clarified butter, that has a very high smoke point because the milk solids are all out of the butter, and it’s the milk solids that burn. Making clarified butter is pretty easy and a quick Google search will bring up how to do this. Clarified butter is also shelf stable and requires no refrigeration. Plus it lasts a long time.
I don’t bother with making clarified butter anymore. I buy ghee–which is the exact same thing. It’s pretty reasonably priced too.
If you do use clarified butter/ghee, you can eliminate the oil in the recipe.
Skillet Scallops in Garlic Pepper Sauce
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb sea scallops
- 2 tbs butter see NOTES
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs red chili pepper finely diced (see NOTES)
- 1/4 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp minced fresh parsley
- Toss bread crumbs with salt in a small bowl. Dip scallops in crumb mixture to coat both sides, patting to help coating adhere.
- In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops; cook 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side or until firm and opaque. Remove from pan; keep warm.
- Add the chili pepper to the same skillet and fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add wine, lemon juice and garlic to same pan; bring to a boil. Stir in parsley. Drizzle over scallops; serve immediately.