Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mo' Better Scallops.

First we had the scallops lightly battered and fried to perfection. Then I made seared scallops. Now, I'm on my third scallop reincarnation - seared scallops with an orange butter rum sauce.
First melt about a tablespoon of butter.
Whisk in a tablespoon of flour and cook for about a minute or two.
Add in orange juice, whisking. How much OJ depends on how thick or thin you want the sauce.
Finish off with a splash of rum - off the heat.
Pour over scallops. Buttery, orangey, rummy, scallopy. What's not to love? Well, the scallops, for one thing, if you buy the wrong kind. I've posted about "wet" versus "dry" scallops before, but it's been a while and Marion's comment in my last post reminded me I've been remiss. To quote one of my previous posts on this issue: For proper sauteing, your scallops must be dry. And by dry, I mean dry both literally and figuratively. Literally, I patted the rinsed scallops until they were dry. Figuratively, the scallops are what we call "dry" scallops, as opposed to "wet" scallops. Wet scallops have been injected with a solution of sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) which helps the scallops maintain their moisture, plumps them up, and gives them a longer shelf life. It adds extra weight to the scallops for which you will be paying. The worst part is the chemical gives the scallops a milky appearance and no matter how hot your pan and oil, you will never be able to brown or sear these scallops because of all the excess moisture. The STP also changes the texture of the scallops (Rubber comes to mind.) and masks the sweetness and delicacy of their flavor. If you're not sure, ask your fishmonger. If he doesn't know, buy elsewhere.

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