A great meal always starts with the right ingredients. When I'm going to grill up a steak, I can choose between grass-fed or grain-fed. I always pick the latter as I appreciate all of the extra fat and marbling associated with grain-fed beef. To my tastebuds, grain-fed tastes better. The same kind of thing happens when you buy sea scallops. You get to choose between dry or wet scallops....and they are light years apart when it comes to taste.
- Take scallops out of refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking so that scallops are at room temperature.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter, letting it melt. Add shallots, celery seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until shallots are opaque, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until jammy....about 10 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high and stir in vermouth. Cook until about a third of the liquid evaporates...about 5 minutes. Add Worcestershire and cream and simmer, reducing heat if needed and stirring occasionally until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon...about 6 minutes. Then cover skillet and keep sauce warm over medium-low heat.
- Thoroughly pat scallops dry. Then heat oil in a new skillet over medium-high heat until very hot and sizzling. Add the scallops to the skillet in a single layer (if they do not sizzle when you put them in the skillet, your pan is not hot enough).
- Season scallops with salt and pepper to taste and fry for 1-1/2 minutes on one side (until a golden crust forms underneath).
- Then flip scallops and fry again for 1-1/2 minutes until crisp, lightly browned and cooked through (opaque).
- Transfer scallops to serving plates and pour sauce over the scallops. Garnish with chives and serve.