Most recipes in Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home” are simple and the one for scallops is probably one of the shortest, but it uses a technique I probably never would’ve thought about. First the scallops, largest specimens I could find, are brined for about 10 minutes. After a rinse and a pat in paper towels to ensure they are dry, they are cooked in a very hot pan. To cook them, Keller heats clarified butter in a stainless steal skillet (I used my well-seasoned cast iron pan) until smoking hot. The scallops then cook for a relatively long time, about 4 minutes, on the first side in the hot fat. Once flipped, I cooked them for another 2 minutes. They came out perfect, moist and delicious with a wonderful texture.
To serve them I prepared a Meyer lemon risotto flavored with the juice and zest of the fruit. I made it a bit lighter by not adding any cheese and very little butter at the end. For a little richness, an herb flavor and color, I blanched parsley and shocked it in an ice bath. Then the parsley was blended with olive oil and strained to make a vibrant parsley oil.