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Bay Scallops

I just got some awesome looking wild bay scallops. Not sure how to cook them. I am, though, in possession of some great quality thyme-y bread crumbs. Can anyone suggest a relatively healthy preparation?

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  1. I wouldn't be inclined to bread them - just to saute them in a little olive oil (after seasoning) until you get a nicely seared "crust" on either side. The Bercy sauce I made for these was fantastic, but involves far too much butter to be considered healthy.


    5 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Yeah, but I don't do butter at home.

      And i gotta use up these danged breadcrumbs....

      1. re: Jim Leff

        Well, you could freeze the bread crumbs ... they tend to freeze well.

        1. re: MMRuth

          how hot would you sautee? and how long? and would you rinse or soak?

          1. re: Jim Leff

            No rinsing or soaking if they come from a good source (but I tend to be pretty cavalier on such issues). I'd just pat the dry with paper towels and salt and pepper lightly. Heat some olive oil or other oil in a saute pan for a minute or two, until hot but not smoking - maybe over medium high. Then cook the scallops for a minute on each side, and check to see if they are done to your liking. If they are absolutely fresh, I like them slightly "not cooked through". If you need to cook them longer, I'd turn down the heat a bit, and maybe cover, but I suspect a minute on each side would do the trick. What is their diameter/thickness?

            And, taking a cue from Kate's post below, you could then remove the scallops, sautee some finely chopped shallots, deglaze with some white wine, and pour the on top of the scallops to serve.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Close to how I do scallops... sear in olive oil (and butter combo usually) and seasoned with salt and pepper, remove them from heat, then deglaze with white wine and lemon juice. Add a little non-fat evaporated milk, a splash, and some tarragon. Return scallops to pan to coat. Simple and delicious served with asparagus.

    2. Hey Jim..
      Agree with MMRuth on not breading the scallops..
      Are wild bay scallops bigger than bay scallops?
      I cook with diver scallops quite a bit and I like to dust them with a curry or Garam Masala spice and sear them on high heat in extra virgin olive oil..scallops are naturally sweet.
      With the bread crumbs, I would get a couple of chicken breast and pound the heck out of them and bread crumb those bad boys up.
      Beach Chick

      1. I'll try to help without telling you not to bother!

        I'd put them in small ramekins, give them some salt, pepper, a healthy squeeze of lemon, top them with the breadcrumbs, and bake them in a high oven very quickly. If you want to get more interesting, saute some shallots, deglaze with wine, etc. and mix the bread crumbs into that before baking - but be careful not to overpower the flavor of the scallops. And don't overcook!

        3 Replies
        1. re: katecm

          Well, I just overcooked AND overseasoned. And the bread crumbs were a mistake! :)

          But live and learn. They were still pretty good, actually! But I can see that this is a fussy ingredient requiring respect, not necessarily my forte (I mostly cook like an eleven year old....basically a sloppy hasher-together)

            1. re: Jim Leff

              In a way, it's a non-fussy ingredient, but indeed one that requires respect. Less is more, so to speak, when preparing scallops.

          1. Bay scallops are delicate, delicious and quite $$$ little lovelies.

            I would not be inclined to use either bread crumbs or thyme on them.

            I'd season, dust them lightly with flour and sautee in some butter or olive oil.

            1. olive oil, salt and pepper and on the grill or grill pan, high heat. They caramelize so nicely this way (if you don't touch them) - sooooo sweet!!!!

              But I do something like a scallop pie with the tiny bay scallops/ with br crumbs.

              1. most of the recipes here are more fit for sea scallops which are large enough to sear on one side and then another. bay scallops are small and delicate... good for a QUICK saute or stir fry - not more than a minute or 2

                5 Replies
                1. re: thew

                  Yeah, I gave 'em a good ten minutes, unfortunately...

                  1. re: thew

                    i was thinking the same thing, thew. those little bay scallops aren't up to searing.

                    i like them with sherry and mushrooms (sauteed in a wee bit o' butter), or a quick saute in olive oil and garlic, tossed with angel hair pasta. maybe sprinkled with some parsley and red pepper flakes. either of these dishes with shallots, also.

                    you could've cooked the scallops, removed, and quickly pan toasted the bread crumbs to throw on top for a nice crunch.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      in college i created a dish of bay scallops w/ grapes in white wine. haven't cooked it in a few centuries maybe i'll try to revive that one

                      1. re: thew

                        you really emphasized their natural sweetness. mr. alka prefers the taste of bay scallops to their meatier sea scallop cousins....(which i like seared).

                      2. re: alkapal

                        You and thew are of course absolutely right - I was thinking of sea scallops- it's been quite a while since I've had bay scallops and had forgotten how much smaller they are.

                    2. Chop them, toss with mignonette and eat raw!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pikawicca

                        used whole (i'm thinking an avg. size of 1/2"?), they make good ceviche in my experience.

                      2. Big Dog

                        Little dog here. Jfood was looking through cookbooks planning for guests tonight and came across a recipe with crumbs and bays, "Bay Scallop Pan Roast". Did a quick search and found it on line just in case you have this dilemma again. Hope this helps


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jfood

                          Thanks! Problem is, I would never ever melt 3 tablespoons of butter when cooking at home. My feeling is that's a special occasion way of eating that's best enjoyed in restaurants. Cooking for myself, I actually prefer the taste of really nutritious healthy cuisine.

                        2. My mother used to make bay scallops and pasta in a light pesto sauce, using lime juice instead of the olive oil. It was the perfect summer dish.