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Pan-Seared Dry Scallops by Annapolis Seafood Markets

Feb 28, 2011 06:19PM ● By Ashley West



How did your culinary career begin?


My first job was a prep cook in high school, but I didn’t truly become a passionate “foodie” until I spent some time cooking in Alaska about 10 to 15 years ago. A few friends and I would spend endless hours in the kitchen cooking, trying to outdo each other. I still keep in contact with those guys, and we are still trying to outdo each other.


Describe the culinary influence in your dishes?


Seafood. I grew up in New England, where there was a seemingly endless supply of fresh seafood, then moved to coastal Alaska, and ended up here in Maryland. I think if I didn’t live near the water and fresh seafood, I’d go crazy.


How did you come to work at this restaurant?

Honestly, Annapolis Seafood was the perfect fit for me when I moved back to the lower 48. My father is in retail, my mother is in food service and I love seafood. Seemed like a no brainer.


What do you like most about your job?


I think what I most enjoy is the freedom to be as creative as I want, and the access to the freshest seafood around.


What makes this dish special to you?

This dish is special to me for a few reasons: I used to use it on the retail side before it was a menu item to teach our retail guests the difference between dry pack and processed scallops. We kept tweaking the recipe until our founder, Mr.Bassford, enjoyed them (he hated scallops).


Are there any special cooking techniques/ingredients/utensils/cookware used for this dish?

The key to making this dish is fresh. In everything I do, I try to use the freshest ingredients available. The scallops are the key—processed or frozen dry packs will not do.


Is this a traditional recipe or have you modified it?

Searing the scallops is about as basic as it gets, but the sauce is what dresses them up a bit. It started as a beurre blanc (a white butter sauce) and kind of morphed into more of a pan sauce or “finishing sauce.”


How difficult is this dish to prepare at home?

Not difficult at all—fresh ingredients and a little bit of timing is all you need. If you have any questions, stop in at the store and find me.



Pan-Seared Dry Scallops with Tomato Basil Sauce

8 dry scallops (about half a pound)

2 tablespoons basil, chiffanaded

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 cup tomato, diced

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup white wine


1. Squirt the olive oil in a sauté pan and let it get really hot. The hotter the pan, the better the sear on the scallops will be.


2. Place the scallops in the pan, making sure they aren’t touching. Sear each side until golden brown, or about four to five minutes per side. When done, remove them to a plate and set aside.


3. Deglaze the pan with the wine and let it reduce, then add the tomatoes.


4. Sauté for 30 seconds, and then add the garlic and basil.


5. Cook for two minutes, and then stir in the butter.


6. Plate the scallops and add the sauce.