- 1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops (such as Hokkaido or New Bedford), tendons removed
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Lemon wedges or Orange-Lime Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- Place scallops on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a clean dishtowel. Place a second clean dish towel on top of scallops and press gently on a towel to blot liquid. Let scallops sit at room temperature for 10 minutes while towels absorb moisture.
- Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12‑inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of the scallops in a single layer, flat side down, and cook, without moving, until well browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Using tongs, flip scallops and continue to cook, using a large spoon to baste scallops with melted butter (tilt skillet so butter runs to 1 side) until sides of scallops are firm and centers are opaque, 30 to 90 seconds longer (remove smaller scallops as they finish cooking). Transfer scallops to large plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Wipe off the skillet with a wad of paper towels and repeat cooking with remaining oil, scallops, and butter. Serve immediately with lemon wedges or vinaigrette.