If the scallops are frozen, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Then, place the scallops in a colander in the sink and run cold water over them for 4-5 minutes until completely thawed. (See notes.)
Remove the side muscle from each scallop, as it will be tough. (See photo in post.) Look carefully for any specks of sand to scrape off the scallops.
Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and let them rest on a couple layers of paper towels to continue drying as you proceed with the recipe.
Move your oven rack to the top position and preheat your broiler. (Use a medium setting of 500 degrees F, if possible. Otherwise use the standard high setting.) Line a sheet pan with foil. Grease the foil with cooking spray.
Add the bread crumbs, Parmesan, Romano, garlic powder and pepper to a dinner plate (or use a gallon-sized, resealable plastic bag) and stir or shake to combine.
Add the butter to a microwave-safe, liquid measuring cup. Melt the butter in the microwave, covered loosely. (Try 30 seconds at first, then more as needed.)
Stir the olive oil into the melted butter in the cup.
Set up an assembly line from left to right with the scallops, butter mixture, bread crumb mixture, and foil-lined pan.
Dry the scallops again with paper towels, so you don't end up with a soggy result.
Place four scallops at a time into the butter mixture. Use a fork to turn them to coat all sides.
Transfer the scallops to the bread crumb mixture. Coat the scallops well with the bread crumbs and use a different fork to transfer them to your pan. Continue breading all the scallops and placing them on the pan. Discard any unused bread crumb mixture that has touched the raw scallops. (If you pour the rest of the bread crumbs onto the pan of scallops, the crumbs will burn under the broiler.)
Sprinkle paprika on the breaded scallops. Pour any extra butter mixture over the scallops.
Broil the scallops on the top rack for two minutes on the first side, or until browned.
Use a small metal spatula or spoon to flip over the scallops. Broil on the second side for another 2 minutes or until browned but not burned. (Watch them carefully.)
The scallops are done whey they are white and tender on the inside. If you find that the bread crumbs are getting too brown but the scallops need to be cooked a bit more, you can move the pan to the middle of the oven to finish cooking.
Squeeze lemon juice on the scallops before serving. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
If doubling or tripling the recipe, broil one pan of scallops at a time.Can you use bay scallops?Yes, but they are smaller and will cook more quickly. Check them after a couple minutes to see how much longer they need. What’s the best way to defrost scallops?The best way is to simply leave them in the refrigerator overnight and then run them under cool water for a few minutes the next day to finish thawing. If you didn’t plan ahead, run cool water over the scallops for longer, turning them over as needed. Never use the microwave for thawing scallops, or they will become tough.See the post for step-by-step photos and suggested sides.