Scallops are probably the sweetest seafood of all...buttery and creamy whether baked, fried, or added to a seafood stew, they're one of my favorites. This is a recipe I made often when I had access to super fresh sea scallops. Now I find that this dish is just as good with individually frozen ones. I have found that Costco sells a great 2 pound package that are nicely sized. The important thing to remember is whether fresh or previously frozen, you have to make sure that the scallops are as dry as possible. Use paper towels to blot them dry.
For the crumb topping:
2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
In a large saute pan, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, crumbs, salt and pepper, and while stirring constantly, cook until very lightly browned. Remove the pan from the heat, but continue to stir for a couple of more minutes. The residual heat will continue to brown the crumbs. Let the mixture cool.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the crumbs in the bottom of a baking pan large enough to hold about 1 1/2 pounds of sea scallops ( I used a 10 inch quiche pan).
To the remaining bread crumbs add:
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Place about 1 1/2 pounds scallops in a single layer in the pan over the half cup of crumbs. Sprinkle the parsley cheese flavored crumbs over the top covering completely. Dot the top with 3 Tbl butter. Bake at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes.