12 sea scallops, cleaned
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Prep: Remove the adductor muscle from each scallop. Cut the lemon. Make sure the adductor muscles are removed before you cook the scallops because they’re inedible and unpleasant to chew. Ask your fishmonger if you need help the first time. If the scallops are crowded in the pan, it will cool too quickly to sear them properly. If you think your pan isn’t wide enough to comfortably accommodate all the scallops, work in batches— or risk soggy scallops. Shopping for the best ingredients is almost as important as the cooking technique you use, and never is this more true than with sea scallops. Often at the fish market you’ll see sea scallops marked either “dry” or “wet.” Ask for the dry scallops if they’re available; you’ll never be able to attain the same hard sear on the wet scallops.