The best recipes, especially ones you're making for those holiday dinner parties, are the dishes that only have a few ingredients, are simple and fast to put together, and taste like you spent all day on them. This Seared Scallops with Pancetta and Leeks video recipe I just did for About.com is one of those. It would make a great first course, or you could double the portion for a main course. The three main ingredients go together so perfectly that all you'll have to do is avoid the temptation to add a bunch of other stuff. Your restraint will be rewarded.
Many of the grocery stores are now selling frozen "wild" scallops. I got these at Trader Joes, and they are far superior to the "fresh" sea scallops in the fish case. Those fresh sea scallops are all soaked in a preservative brine to keep them white and prolong the self-life. That's why they have that faint chemical aftertaste, and shrink so much when you cook them. Frozen wild scallops are not soaked in any solutions, and have a much better flavor. They are definitely worth finding and serving. Enjoy!
Click here for the transcript and ingredients.