Recently a friend asked me for a good recipe for bay scallops. Personally preferring the larger sea scallops, I didn’t have an answer at the time. Naturally, I had to head to my cookbooks and test a few recipes that I found interesting. My favorites are below.
First a little scallop info. Here on Long Island, the most popular bay scallops are found in Peconic Bay and other areas on the East End. Gathering of these sweet small scallops is usually in November and December. You can buy them into the New Year but after that, they might not be as tasty. The same goes for any market along the whole East Coast. Please note that when you walk into many seafood markets you could be getting scallops that are from Maine, the Carolinas and other coastal areas. Always ask if are looking for the local harvest.
Be careful when buying scallops. If they look artificially white, seem really big or are oozing a milky liquid, then they have been over-treated with a sodium food additive called STP. It is used to keep them from drying out but will also increase their weight (and price!) with the water it adds. It is suggested that you don’t buy them, as they won’t brown properly or taste very good. I found that piece of advice on the web.
If you’ve shopped in the morning or aren’t planning on having your scallops that day you should store them in the refrigerator, by placing them in an ice-filled dish big enough to accommodate the amount you’ve bought. This is because our home refrigerators are not as cool as they should be to keep scallops fresh. The can also be frozen.
Here are the recipes I tried and liked. Maybe you will too. I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer; it goes by way too fast!
Bay Scallops with Tomatoes and Oil
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of minced shallots
1/4 cup of tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Tb. of white wine vinegar
1-1/2 Tb. of olive oil
1-1/2 lbs of bay scallops
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Tb. of minced parsley
In a small saucepan, combine and simmer the 1/4-cup of olive oil with the shallots, tomatoes and vinegar for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Pat the scallops dry and season with the salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and cook the scallops, turning often until just cooked, about 2 minutes.
Spoon the scallops into serving dishes, coat with the tomato sauce and sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4-6. Note: I actually put this over angel hair pasta. You could use rice or your favorite grain too.
Jules Bond’s Best Scallops (coming from a Long Island cookbook – not sure who
1-1/2 lbs. of bay scallops
1/3 cup of dry vermouth
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp. of salt & white pepper to taste
Fine white bread crumbs
8 Tb. (approximately) of butter
Lemon wedges for garnish
Place the scallops in a bowl and add the vermouth, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well and marinate for an hour.
Drain scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Roll them in the breadcrumbs and shake loose the excess. Heat the butter in a skillet and sauté the scallops over fairly high heat, not too many at a time, for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown. When done, remove them from the pan and keep warm while cooking the remaining scallops. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 6.
Scallops in Mustard Sauce
1 Tb. of minced shallots
1 Tb. of butter
2 Tb. of red wine vinegar
1 cup of heavy cream
1 lb. of bay scallops
Salt to taste
1 Tb. of Dijon mustard
1 Tb. of minced parsley
In a skillet, sweat the scallops in the butter until soft. Add the vinegar and simmer until almost evaporated. Add the cream and reduce by half. Add the scallops and season with salt. Cook, shaking the skillet for about 1-2 minutes until done.
Remove the skillet from the heat and add the mustard. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Serves 4. Note: I had these quinoa.