Make us your home page
Instagram

From the food editor: Looking for something fresh? Try scallops

Looking for a fresh catch? Try Scallop Salad With Meyer Lemon and Pomegranate.

New York Times

Looking for a fresh catch? Try Scallop Salad With Meyer Lemon and Pomegranate.

We're just at the beginning of scallop season off Florida's gulf coast, which started earlier this month and runs through September, so this week's recipe is an homage to the mollusks.

If you're heading out to catch some — or cook some — consider these facts and tips about scallops. The ones in the first section are adapted from stories by the late Times outdoors editor Terry Tomalin, who hunted for scallops and wrote often about them.

Catching them

• You can buy farm-raised bay scallops in the supermarket, but they don't taste anything like the real thing. To get the good ones, you have to go snorkeling or swimming for them.

• A single scallop can lay more than a million eggs that will float around for two weeks to a month.

• If rains are heavy, which happens when there are many hurricanes in a year, too much freshwater may flood the bay and wipe out a scallop crop. If the water is too salty, they also may not survive.

• Because scallops are generally found in waters 4 to 8 feet deep, most scallop hunters stay on the surface until they spot one or two. Then they take a deep breath and head down to grab them before they disperse.

• The state's prime scallop grounds — Homosassa, Crystal River and Steinhatchee — have the perfect combination of both freshwater and saltwater.

Cooking them

• The most basic thing to know about cooking scallops is that it's a relatively simple process. Sort of. They don't require much, but that means they can overcook easily.

• Don't cook scallops too far in advance before you're going to eat them. They will keep cooking after you take them out of the skillet, so wait until everything is prepared and ready to go before cooking your scallops.

• Scallops are full of protein, which makes them ideal for boosting dishes like pastas or salads. They are also a relatively mild seafood in terms of taste.

• A good way to cook scallops for any dish is this: Start by heating up a couple of tablespoons of oil or butter in a skillet. When the oil is hot, place the scallops in the skillet in a single layer. It's important that the pan and the oil are hot, and not merely lukewarm. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip carefully and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Both sides should develop a nice golden brown crust. Serve the scallops hot.

Contact Michelle Stark at mstark@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17.

From the food editor: Looking for something fresh? Try scallops

07/25/16 [Last modified: Monday, July 25, 2016 11:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.

    Events

    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
  2. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  3. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  4. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]