I have just read Nigella's recipe for the Scallops On The Shell. It looks delicious but I was wondering if I can cook the scallops the same way without the shell in the oven. I usually cook scallops by searing them in a pan.
Nigella's recipe for Scallops On The Shell (from NIGELLA EXPRESS) bakes the breadcrumb-coated scallops in scallop shells as the shells heat through quicky and help the scallops to cook, as well as preserving any juices from the butter and scallops in the bottom of the shell. If you have a fishmonger nearby they may be able to supply some shells and cleaned shells are also available on-line from several suppliers. It is also possible to buy reusable ovenproof porcelain scallop shells. There are several brands available on the internet and the dishes also make attractive serving dishes.
It is slightly difficult to recommend an alternative method as if you spread the scallops out on a baking sheet they could dry out in the oven. But if you like to pan fry scallops then you may like to try Nigella's recipe for Scallops And Chorizo and also the Scallops With Thai Scented Pea Puree