Last week one of our readers (he signs his email as “Avid Reader”) wrote asking for a recipe for scallops, so I thought it would be a good idea for this week. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and relatively low in calories, scallops are an incredibly healthy and lean source of protein. The secret to preparing them is to never take your eyes off of them while they are cooking. When perfectly cooked they are succulent, juicy and plump- overcooked they become rubbery. You may use sea scallops or bay scallops in any recipe, but bay scallops are smaller and more delicate requiring much less cooking time. Most fish shops discard the pink part (the reproductive organs) as we Americans are a bit prudish about that sort of thing, while the French, of course, consider it the best part! Either way, here are two different recipes, both very easy and both very good!
Pan Seared Scallops
(For 4 people)
16 dry sea scallops (small side muscles removed)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Rinse scallops with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Salt and pepper both sides. Add the butter and oil to the pan on high heat. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes until they form a golden crust on each side. Serve immediately.
Roasted Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Shrimp
(For 4 people)
12 large dry sea scallops, trimmed and well drained
12 jumbo raw peeled deveined shrimp, (16 to 20 count per pound)
12 slices center cut smoked bacon, each cut in half
¼ cup Lime juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Pinch of Coarse black pepper
3 scallions, very thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Place shrimp and scallops in a shallow dish or bowl. Salt and pepper each on both sides. Drizzle first lime juice and then sesame oil and turn each shrimp and scallop to coat each with the juices. Wrap each shrimp and scallop with a half slice of bacon. Fasten bacon in place with picks. Arrange the scallops on a broiler pan with slots or on top of a grill on a pan to allow the bacon fat to drain while the bacon crisps up. Roast scallops for two full minutes and then add the wrapped shrimp to the pan and bake until shrimp is pink, scallops are opaque and bacon is crisp. Arrange on platter and sprinkle with chopped scallions.