It’s rare that you have a scallop that is mediocre…they usually turn out really good or really terrible. Prepare them correctly and you have a tender and mildly sweet treat; prepare them incorrectly and they are dry and rubbery dog treats. The key to cooking a great scallop is to use high heat, a small amount of fat (I use clarified butter), patting the scallops dry before sauteing, and waiting to season until the last minute so the salt doesn’t pull out extraneous moisture. If a dry scallop goes into a hot pan for a short amount of time it will be golden brown, flavorful and tender.
For this preparation I brined the scallop for a short amount of time before letting it rest in the refrigerator uncovered to form a pellicle. It received a quick hot smoke on the range before being sauteed, then glazed (two parts molasses, one part veal stock) and briefly placed in the oven.