Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rosie Prepares Scallops In A Cream and Green Sauce.

Lori VanderKamp,
of The VanderKamps of Michigan,
recently visited the Hawthornes.
So far, in case you missed it,
 we've had Shrimp Caprese,
Caesar Salad with homemade croutons,

and a Rockfish Filet with a Rum Butter Sauce
and a Red Grape, Strawberry, and Kiwi Salsa.

Now, we're having Scallops
in a Cream and Green Sauce.

I have a shallot, spinach,
and sorrel from the garden.

I added a little Chardonnay to some heavy cream
and reduced it a bit.

Add in some green.

And some shallots.

Bare bubble around the edges.
Let it cook down a bit.

Prepare the scallops.
Rinse well.
Dry completely.

Do I need to go into the dry vs wet scallop issue again?

Scallops are extremely perishable
and cannot hold themselves tightly closed once caught.
For this reason, scallops are usually killed right after harvesting.
Some are immediately frozen
and some might be brought back quickly to shore
and sold as "day boat" scallops -
some of the freshest you can get.
These are "dry" scallops.

Because of their perishability and the high costs
of taking a boat out for just a day,
some fisherman treat their scallops with STP,
or sodium tripolyphosphate.
This keeps the scallop from drying out.
The scallop absorbs a lot of excess moisture,
sometimes up to 50% of their weight,
artificially inflating the price.
These are "wet" scallops.
And you'll never get a wet scallop to sear properly.
Since they have so much water in them,
they'll steam and overcook long before they'll caramelize.

You inland people,
if you want a proper scallop,
look for dry, never wet-pack.

I'm going with a batter tonight.
I 'm using one part dried potato flakes,
two parts panko breadcrumbs, 
and some chopped parsley.
Mix together.
Dredge scallops through mixture.
Shake off excess.

I heated my skillet over medium high
and added a tablespoon or so each of
butter and peanut oil.
Butter is for flavor.
Oil is to raise the smoke point,
so you can fry hotter without burning.

Fry a minute or so on the first side.
Don't poke at the meat.
Leave it alone.
When the scallop is ready,
it will release itself from the pan.
Test by shaking the pan.
When the scallop is ready to turn over,
it will move when you shake the pan.
If the scallop is not ready
and you try to force it,
you'll tear the meat and leave the best part
on the bottom of the pan.

Whatever you do,
don't overcook your scallops.
Watch them closely
because you can go from sweet and succulent
to rubber ball quickly.
You want to remove them
when they're still moist, juicy, and plump.
When the protein cooks,
watch for the change from translucent to opaque.
And because of carryover cooking,
it's best to take them off the heat and out of the pan
when they are not yet quite done.
When you're cooking scallops,
slightly underdone is preferable to overdone.
Deglaze the pan with a little Chardonnay.

That's some Ocean Candy!
Seared scallops in foreground
with Cream and Green Sauce.

Rockfish in Rum and Butter Sauce
with a Fruit Salsa in the back.
Rosie is happy.

Stay tuned for breakfast - Eggs Hawthorne!


Anonymous said...

hi rosie! i've been a lurking reader on your blog for years now. i just wanted to say thank you for this post! i struggle with cooking scallops and i think this is the most informative tutorial i've ever seen! :)


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hi Jen, so glad I could be of help! Thanks for commenting.

One of my family's favorite scallop dishes is with risotto on a Parmesan Crisp. You should try it: