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Pan Seared Scallops in Vermouth Cream Sauce are an elegant, easy entree for date night, or any night! Serve with pasta, polenta or salad for an easy meal.
Oh, date night, you elusive thing. When you read tips online about how to keep your marriage alive, saving time for date night is always on the list. We get in a few dates a year, and also try for a weekend trip alone. I know we should reserve more nights for dates, but we don’t have family in town, and our regular babysitters have MUCH busier social lives than we do, so we can’t count on them in a pinch. To fix this, we’ve started having date night at home. Sometimes, we cook awesome, fancy dinners like these Pan Seared Scallops in Vermouth Cream Sauce.
Sometimes, we buy wine, a bunch of cheese and cured meats, and sit on our porch with candles and lanterns lit. The perks of doing this at home? We don’t miss out on time with our little buddy. We can spend time together as a family, put him to bed, and then fire up the stove and have a great date night at home (and sometimes in sweatpants). Bonus!
If you’re like me, you’re a little scared of cooking scallops at home, but absolutely love getting them in restaurants! I don’t want you to be scared of cooking scallops at home. Yes, they’re expensive and cooking expensive meat feels risky. But they aren’t hard to make, not by any stretch of the imagination! I want to walk you through the steps of a cleaning and cooking the perfect scallop at home.
How to cook the perfect scallop at home:
- Choose jumbo scallops that are fresh, if possible. If you live in the Midwest like me, you’ll probably have to buy previously frozen scallops. That’s okay, just check to make sure they are firm to the touch and don’t have a strong smell.
- Wash the scallops in cold water.
- Pull the “boot” off. Some of my scallops had this, some didn’t. If you miss one, it’s okay. It’s just a little tough to eat.
- Wash the scallops in cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel. Rest on a plate (no paper towel liner).
- Heat butter on medium-high in a large skillet. I used my favorite, trusty pan, the Calphalon Signature™ Nonstick 12” Skillet, which I purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond. This worked fabulously to get the perfect sear and caramelized crust on the scallops, and I can even use my favorite metal utensils with them! Cleanup was a breeze and I can pop the pan in the dishwasher if I don’t feel like hand washing.
- Place dried scallops in the melted butter in the pan and sear on high heat. Allow them to sear for 2 to 2.5 minutes on each side, flip when a golden brown crust has formed.
- Remove to a plate and serve while hot. I like to eat my scallops with polenta or grits. Pasta and salad are great choices as well
- 1 pound jumbo sea scallops
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup vermouth
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/8 tsp salt and pepper
- Clean scallops (see instructions above this recipe).
- Heat butter in large skillet on high heat.
- When melted, add well dried scallops into butter. Sear on high for 2 to 2.5 minutes, then flip.
- Sear for another 2 minutes until a golden crust is formed.
- Remove to a plate, turn skillet to low.
- Add vermouth to skillet, and simmer for 1-2 minutes to reduce the vermouth, stirring. Scrape up any butter or scallop remains in the pan.
- Add cream, salt and pepper. Stir, simmering for another 1-2 minutes to combine.
- Serve sauce over scallops.