Tuesday, June 23, 2009
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I love scallops. Of all the things we take from the sea they are my hands down favorite. They have a history that dates back to Marco Polo who talked about them being sold in the markets of China. Not only are they rich, sweet and tender, they're also affordable. The name, by the way, comes from the French word escalope which means shell. Scallops need to move in order to stay alive, so we won't find them in their shells at the fish market. The part we are sold is actually the "adductor" muscle. Their color can range from pale beige to pink and they should look moist and smell fresh. They should never look pure white. White scallops usually have been sitting in water which causes them to lose nutrients as well as color. To assure freshness, I actually prefer to buy them flash frozen at the market and thaw them in the refrigerator. There are three basic sizes of scallops. The sea scallop is the largest; it's followed in size by bay and, finally, the tiny calico scallop. They have the advantage of cooking quickly and adapting themselves to various sauces. This recipe comes from Ina Garten. I think you'll enjoy this dish.
Scallops Provencal...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 pound fresh bay or sea scallops
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour for dredging
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, cut in half
1) If you're using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you're using sea scallops, cut each one in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.
2) In a very large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat until sizzling and add a single layer of scallops. Lower the heat to medium and allow scallops to brown lightly on one side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes total. Melt remaining butter in the pan with scallops; add shallots, garlic, and parsley and sauté for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Finally, add wine and cook for 1 minutes longer. Pan sauce will thicken slightly. Adjust seasoning to taste to salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve immediately: Yield 3 to 4 servings.
Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa in Paris by Ina Garten.