1. Rinse scallops with running cold water to remove sand from crevices. Pat dry with paper towels. (If using sea scallops, cut each horizontally in half.)
2. In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, in hot butter or margarine, cook scallops, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove scallops to medium-sized bowl.
3. In drippings in same skillet, over medium heat, stir in flour, salt, saffron, and white pepper until blended; cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in half-and-half and vermouth or white wine; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly. Stir scallops into saffron cream; heat through. If you like, serve scallops and saffron-cream sauce over hot cooked rice.