The key to a well-cooked scallop--one with a dark golden crust and a melting tender middle--is a very hot pan. Put your skillet on the fire first, then add some oil and sear the scallops for just a couple of minutes on each side.
The dividend for the cook, of course, is speed. What could be a faster or more sophisticated main course?
If you’re in the mood to splurge, buy “dry-pack” or “day boat” scallops, which stand up to searing much better than the ordinary scallop because they contain much less water. Dry scallops are not treated with the chemicals often used to retain scallops’ size and shape, so you also get a truer, more delicate scallop flavor.
Serve this scallop dish with a crusty French baguette. All you’ll need are some sweet nectarines laced with a little Grand Marnier to complete the meal.