Dry the scallops in paper towels, then place on a large sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle with drops of lemon juice, then with salt and pepper. The moment before sauteing, dredge with flour and shake in a sieve to dislodge excess flour. Film the frying pan with a 1/16-inch layer of oil. When almost smoking, add the scallops. Toss for 4 to 5 minutes until scallops are lightly browned. Then toss for a moment with the shallots or scallions, and garlic; finally toss with the butter and parsley and serve. Suggested accompaniments: If the scallops are a first course, accompany with French bread. For a main course, accompany with broiled tomatoes and green beans.
Notes: Sauteed scallops should be crisp light brown outside and moistly tender inside. Keys to success are: have your sauteing oil very hot before the scallops go in, and have no more than one layer of scallops in the pan. Otherwise the scallops will steam, exude moisture, and will not brown. You may find, in using frozen scallops, that they will start out nicely, then suddenly release juices in the pan; to avoid this, blanch them before cooking by dropping them in a large pan of rapidly boiling water and bringing them quickly back to the boil, then drain immediately, dry them, and proceed with the recipe.