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Baked Dublin Scallops with Garlic Butter: A Taste of Coastal Ireland

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Baked Dublin Scallops with Garlic Butter is a dish that captures the essence of coastal Irish cuisine, combining fresh scallops with flavorful garlic butter and a hint of lemon. This recipe celebrates the bounty of the sea with its simple yet elegant preparation, making it perfect for a special dinner or as part of a seafood feast. The delicate sweetness of the scallops paired with the richness of garlic butter creates a delightful harmony of flavors that will impress any seafood enthusiast. Let’s dive into how to prepare this delicious dish that brings the taste of Dublin’s shores to your table.

Ingredients:

For the Scallops:

  • 1 lb fresh scallops, side muscle removed if necessary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

For the Garlic Butter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Garlic Butter:

  • In a small bowl, combine softened butter, minced garlic, chopped parsley, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Set aside the garlic butter mixture to allow the flavors to meld while preparing the scallops.

2. Prepare the Scallops:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Pat the scallops dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This ensures they will brown nicely when baked.
  • Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper.

3. Sear the Scallops:

  • Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the scallops to the skillet in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd them. Sear the scallops for about 1-2 minutes on each side until they develop a golden crust. They should be almost cooked through but still slightly translucent in the center.

4. Bake the Scallops:

  • Remove the skillet from heat. Spoon a generous amount of garlic butter over each scallop.
  • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the scallops are opaque and cooked through. Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become tough.

5. Serve:

  • Remove the baked Dublin scallops from the oven.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness.
  • Serve hot, directly from the skillet or transfer to a serving platter.
  • Accompany with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the scallops before enjoying.

Tips for Success:

  • Scallop Selection: Choose fresh, high-quality scallops for the best flavor and texture. Look for dry-packed scallops, which are free of preservatives and chemicals.
  • Searing Technique: Ensure the skillet is hot enough to sear the scallops quickly without overcrowding, which can cause them to steam rather than sear.
  • Garlic Butter Consistency: Soften the butter at room temperature to ensure it mixes well with the minced garlic and other ingredients. This helps create a smooth and flavorful topping for the scallops.
  • Oven Temperature: Bake the scallops at a moderate temperature to gently cook them through without drying them out.

Variations:

  • Cheese Topping: Sprinkle grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese over the scallops along with the garlic butter before baking for a rich and savory twist.
  • Herb Infusion: Add additional fresh herbs such as thyme or tarragon to the garlic butter mixture for added aroma and flavor complexity.
  • Breadcrumbs: Sprinkle a light layer of breadcrumbs over the scallops along with the garlic butter before baking for a crispy texture.

Conclusion:

Baked Dublin Scallops with Garlic Butter is a dish that showcases the delicate sweetness of scallops paired with the richness of garlic-infused butter and hints of fresh herbs and lemon. Whether served as an appetizer or a main course, this recipe is sure to impress with its elegant presentation and irresistible flavors. Embrace the flavors of Dublin’s coastline with this simple yet sophisticated dish and enjoy the taste of fresh seafood prepared with care and attention to detail.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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