Scallops are tender medallions of shellfish muscle that are also a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Several methods can be used to cook these shellfish, including baking, frying and sauteing, and each method is a delicious way to enjoy scallops as long as they are cooked properly. If however, you are looking for a healthier way to cook your scallops, you should try poaching, baking, steaming or broiling them. These methods fully cook the scallops without using any oils and butters, and combine flavorful ingredients to add new tastes to your dish.
Poach scallops by adding a flavored broth or liquid to a frying pan. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat, then place the scallops into the pan so that they are fully covered with liquid. Do not overcrowd the scallops, as this will cause them to cook unevenly. Reduce the heat to simmer and allow the scallops to poach for two to three minutes, or until done. They are finished when the scallops are no longer translucent and have a milky opaque exterior. Popular poaching liquids include milk, vegetable broth, orange juice, vinegar, wine, or lemon juice. You can also add fresh herbs and spices such as shallots, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme and bay leaf.
Bake scallops in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the bottom of a shallow baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with a non-fat cooking spray. Place the scallops into the pan in a single, uncrowded layer. Sprinkle with seasonings and herbs, such as those used in poaching, and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are white and slightly firm to the touch. Roll the scallops in breadcrumbs before baking for added flavor.
Broil scallops on a baking sheet coated with non-fat cooking spray. Place the scallops in a single uncrowded layer. Add seasonings as desired. Place the sheet approximately 4 to 6 inches directly under the heat source. Broil scallops for two to three minutes, then flip them over and broil an additional one to two minutes. The scallops are done when they are browned on both sides and firm to the touch.
Steam scallops by filling a large pot halfway with water, then bring the water to a boil over high heat. Place the scallops into a steamer basket and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Place the basket over the boiling water, making sire the water does not touch the scallops. Cover the pot and allow the scallops to steam for two to three minutes, or until done.
Grill scallops by drying them well with paper towels. Lightly season them with herbs, such as salt and pepper, then thread the scallops onto soaked wooden skewers. Place the skewers onto a heated grill, then turn them every minute, for a total of five to six minutes, to ensure even cooking.