Small bay scallops, now in peak season, are often sweeter and more tender than larger sea scallops. Pat them dry before coating with cooking spray so they will sear rather than steam in the pan. Bay-scented butter tinged with a hint of lemon flavors the scallops, while panko provides crunchy texture. Serve in scallop shells for a handsome presentation.
2 tablespoons butter
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Chopped fresh chives (optional)
How to Make It
Place butter and bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook 5 minutes or until butter melts. Remove from heat; let stand 30 minutes. Skim solids off the top; discard solids and bay leaves.
Lightly coat scallops with cooking spray. Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Add half of scallops to pan; sauté 1 minute or until browned on both sides, turning once. Place in a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining scallops. Sprinkle scallops with salt. Add juice and half of butter to scallops, tossing to coat.
Combine panko and remaining butter. Heat pan over medium-low heat. Add panko mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes or until panko is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove panko from pan.
Place 1/3 cup scallops into each of 8 ramekins. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons panko and 1/8 teaspoon lemon rind. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.