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Fresh Scallops Tonight

OK. A favor done is about to be repaid with a buncha "in shell" scallops". I intend to start the meal with raw slices, splashed with lime juice, and roe from those that have them. I'm just wonderin' what you guys'd do with a few dozen uber fresh scallops. I need no advice about cleanin' 'em, and I should note that I will deep fry a couple for the final plate. I know about on the other, recent scallop threads, but these are a bit different than defrosting the protein you can get at Costco. Anyone got some kick a*s ideas of what might push the boundaries with these beauties? Any funky additions of flavor? Raw ginger slices? Wasabi? Challenge me? I've got a coupla habaneros around, though the Ghost Peppers are gone . . . .

Should I just stick with raw/ceviche preps 'til I give in to my inner "fry fanatic"?

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  1. fresh scallops like you have are things of beauty. i dislike gussying them up and masking their briny perfection. a quick sear on each side, a squirt of citrus and some togarashi pepper is plenty for me.

    although you seem to want heat with them? make a flavored butter and drizzle that over once cooked.

    they also pair well with sweeter starchy veggies like puree of celery root or parsnip.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Well, I shoulda noted that we decided that dinner will be nuthin' but scallops. cooked three or four ways (Yeah, it's indulgent, and I know I should freeze some of e'm, but I'ma 'hound). Two plates are locked in - raw with roe to start and a final dish consisting of a deep fried mollusk or two. It's the in between courses for which I'm really looking for ideas (by the way, there are only two of us, but since the second is my wife, I got no problems with excess prep and/or clean up).

      1. re: MGZ

        gah! why would you freeze them?

        <<faints.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Only reason I might have to freeze is that it's possible I'm looking at eight to twelve dozen, in shell, scallops, and the two of us, who are really good eaters, can't polish of all of 'em.* I'll give a neighbor a dozen or two, but otherwise?

          *I'm willing to clean all of 'em and have a "tried and true" freezing technique to that they will last to be an app for a dinner party on Saturday.

      2. re: hotoynoodle

        Yes, this! A scallop seared in a screaming hot pan is a thing of beauty!

      3. This is the way I was taught, many years ago...

        Salt and fresh pepper the dry scallops on a plate.
        I get my cast iron pan very hot and us a low smoking oil (I use grapeseed) to sear them.
        Once they're seared on both sides i add butter....
        You can add and infuse anything you want at this point ; herbs, ginger, your habaneros, garlic, etc.
        The butter will being to turn brown, you tip the pan and baste.
        The flavors will infuse the scallops.

        1. Quick sear would be my choice, with perhaps a couple of dips or sauces that would complement them well?

          You don't want to overpower the super-fresh flavor of these babies, so I agree with hotoy about a flavored (browned) butter, or a nice pea puree with mint as a sauce to sit on.

          You could always sprinkle some dried 'shrooms on the finished product :-D

          8 Replies
          1. re: linguafood

            So, if I do a simple sear for course two, I'm (all past references or kiddin' aside) likin' the idea of some kinda scallop and mushrooms in a cream sauce for course three. Sure wish I could get my hands on some morels or chanterelles in town . . . . Ideas?

            Like I said, this is a pure indulgence feast. Oh, and I should note I have, relatively cheap, access to some good veal and lobsters as well. Whatta you think about my makin' some fresh pasta slices for course two or three?

            1. re: MGZ

              I think (and kidding aside for a moment as well) a dusting of porcini powder or such would be really delish. Adding a bit more umami. Or on a bed of mushroom duxelles.

              1. re: linguafood

                I do have some dried porcinis . . . .

                Note: I edited the previous post to inquire about fresh pasta. Whatta 'bout that with some cream and your porcini dust idea?

                1. re: MGZ

                  What time is dinner?

                  (sounds great, but go easy on the cream)

              2. re: MGZ

                i really dislike cream on this sort of thing. it overpowers the seafood and deadens the palate. especially if you are having fried food after?

                how about butter-poaching some lobster and using that, mixed with some sauteed shrooms, under the scallops?

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Well played. Man, I love askin' you guys for ideas!

                2. re: MGZ

                  A saffron cream sauce with seared scallops is lovely.

              3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a hot skillet
                Pat the scallops dry and season with S & P
                Add them to the skillet
                Add more butter and a sprig of fresh thyme
                Baste scallops continuously for about 2 minutes.
                Turn them for another 30 seconds or so if they're not cooked through.
                Serve on a bed of pan roasted haricots verts dressed with a mild sherry vinaigrette.

                1. agree with the above - my favorite pairings for scallops are wild mushrooms and pea puree (together or separately). nigella lawson has some good recipes for pea puree.

                  for cooking: i usually pat them dry, s&p at the last minute, sautee in a HOT skillet in butter (it becomes browned butter by the end). also if you put the dry scallops uncovered on a plate in the fridge for about 30 minute before cooking, they will air dry a bit and you'll get a better crust.

                  in fact last night we had scallops prepared just this way, and served them alongside pasta with sauteed wild mushrooms. We added the scallop juices to the pasta sauce and all was good in the world!