This is pretty much the definitive method for properly cooking/searing sea scallops. Undercooking them yields mushy results; overcooking yields rubbery results. Serves 4

12 large sea scallops (1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
Cocktail sauce, if desired

Sea scallops must be completely dry prior to cooking, so dry carefully with paper towels.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil until just smoking. Add the scallops and cook over high heat for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes.

Turn the scallops and add the butter. Cook, spooning the butter on the scallops, until just white throughout, about 3 minutes. Spoon your selected side dish or vegetable onto plates, top with the scallops, sprinkle with a little Old Bay and serve immediately, with cocktail sauce if using.

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