For those of us who love fish, nothing can compare to that delectable taste we experience when we bite into a scallop. Sweet and delicate with a melt in your mouth goodness, it’s heaven at the end of your fork. And scallops served with a lemon butter sauce are divine.
Pay Close Attention When Cooking Your Scallops
It should be noted that we scallop lovers are a fussy lot. We detest one that isn’t cooked properly. If it’s overcooked, it will be chewy and rubbery – and undercooked isn’t good either. The tops and bottoms should be seared to a crispy brown and the inside cooked just long enough to turn the meat from translucent to opaque. The technique is quite simple, and the result is simply delicious. To copy the recipe, click on “Scallops In Lemon Butter Sauce.” Scroll down past the narrative, and the recipe will appear.
The following information is probably only interesting to an ichthyologist (one who studies fish), but think how impressed your guests will be when you tell them a scallop is a bi-valve in the mollusk family found only in bay waters and in the sea (never in fresh water). Their diet is mainly plankton, and they swim by clapping their shells quickly which is done by an abductor muscle (which is the part of the scallop we eat). And there’s more . . .
Scallops Apparently Are A Bit Confused
Now this is where it gets odd. Scallops can either be a male, a female, or both. They reproduce by spawning, so scallops basically don’t couple; however, there was an incident where, against everyone’s advice, a scallop married a clam. As was expected, it didn’t work out, and they divorced and went their separate ways. Their problem was obvious to anyone who knew them – they were just two shellfish.
Addendum to the Scallops Recipe:
There have been several questions. I’d like to add some more comments that may help.
The first has to do when you are purchasing the scallops. The scallops that are available to us come frozen. In the morning, the scallops are placed on a bed of ice in the refrigerated fish section of the market. I like to get there by about 9 a.m. because throughout the day they will thaw, and they always look just a bit foul by the end of the day. Also, smell them. If they don’t smell fresh, pass on the scallops. Try them again at another time. You don’t want to eat a bad scallop – believe me. I also make it a rule to cook them the same day I purchase them.
They oftentimes come in assorted sizes. A normal serving is 4 oz., which is about four X 1 oz. scallops. They are much easier to cook if they are a uniform size. If I’m cooking for two, I will ask him to package eight of his largest scallops.
When I get home, I wash the scallops immediately with cold water to remove all of the sand (if any). The scallops cook better if each is in the shape of a column, so I manually shape each scallop and tightly pack them in glass storage containers so they maintain their shape. (Note: eight scallops will usually fit in a 2-cup container with high sides. OXO makes a good one that comes with a lid). The sides are a bit rigid to maintain the columnar shape. Refrigerate until about 30 minutes before cooking.
Cooking the Scallops
The tops and bottoms are seared in the oil/butter mix. When a nice crust forms (usually in 2-3 minutes) flip each scallop and cook the other side for about 2 minutes, and place in a heated oven to stay warm.
‘Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please ask and I will try to help.