Sunday, May 27, 2018
Cooking

Easy seared scallops for romantic meal or company

In Botticelli's famed painting, The Birth of Venus, the goddess of love can be seen emerging from a giant scallop shell. Scallops, a feast for the eyes, also are a feast for seafood lovers.

Sweet and luscious scallops are bivalves (mollusks with two hinged shells). The entire scallop is edible, but it is the marshmallow-shaped muscle that hinges the two shells (called the nut) that is usually eaten. In Europe it is common to find live scallops with their bright coral reproductive organs still attached.

Lightly dredged in flour and seared quickly in a hot pan so the outside gets crisp and brown and the insides remain tender and creamy, scallops can be served with a sauce made in the same pan.

Although there are hundreds of species of scallops, only a handful are commonly available. The largest and most popular are sea scallops, primarily harvested in the Atlantic from Eastern Canada to North Carolina, but they also originate from Peru, Japan and Russia. They are usually harvested year-round by dredging.

Since they cannot hold their shells closed once they are out of the water, they are usually shucked on board and quickly lose their moisture.

Hand-harvesting sea scallops by divers is less destructive to the scallops. Known as diver scallops, these are much preferred to any other.

Diver scallop season is from November to mid April. The season for smaller bay and calico scallops runs from October through May. Pink scallops are harvested in Washington and British Columbia all year long.

Ask for dry sea scallops at the fish market. This means that they haven't been soaked in a sodium solution that whitens and enlarges the scallops up to 50 percent. Not only are you paying for this unnecessary moisture, but when you cook them, all that liquid leaks out, making it impossible to get a good sear.

Store scallops in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Pat them dry with paper towels before frying; surface moisture impedes browning. Dredging them in Wondra flour promotes browning.

Scallops add an elegant touch to a main dish salad.

Comments
Transform your weeknight cooking with this kitchen tool

Transform your weeknight cooking with this kitchen tool

Once upon a time, way back in the annals of home cooking, there was an era before sheet-pan suppers.In that dark age, even well-equipped kitchens did not have so much as a single professional sheet pan, let alone the two or three deemed indispensable...
Published: 05/23/18
Up your homemade smoothie game with these tips

Up your homemade smoothie game with these tips

You could head to your neighborhood juice shop and order a $7 or $8 smoothie. Blending your own, however, is not only easier on your wallet, but you can customize to your heartís content and make several batches at a time.Whether youíre making a nutr...
Published: 05/23/18
Vanilla is complex, even smoky, and may be a bakerís best friend

Vanilla is complex, even smoky, and may be a bakerís best friend

By Kim OdeSomewhere along the line, vanilla became synonymous with bland or ordinary.Which is just plain wrong.Blame it on a world of Chubby Hubby ice cream and Candy Cane Oreos, where "more" sounds like "better," where fake flavors bolster profits.I...
Published: 05/23/18
I tried making restaurant-quality braised short ribs at home

I tried making restaurant-quality braised short ribs at home

One of my 2018 cooking resolutions was to cook at least 10 things this year that I never have before. Somewhere near the top of my list was short ribs. You can hardly eat at a restaurant now without seeing short rib in some form on the menu: braised,...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Five ideas for cooking with lavender

Five ideas for cooking with lavender

Lavender is almost as pretty to smell as it is to look at, but as far as taste goes, the results arenít always as appealing. A little like cilantro, lavender can taste soapy to some people, making it a tricky plant to use properly. But, when used the...
Published: 05/22/18
Taste test: new (and very sugary) cereals

Taste test: new (and very sugary) cereals

My addiction to sugar began as a child. I loved sugary breakfast cereals as a morning meal or an evening snack, the sweeter the better. We used to joke in my house that I even added table sugar to Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. Thankfu...
Published: 05/21/18
Five ideas for sleep-friendly midnight snacks

Five ideas for sleep-friendly midnight snacks

When the clock strikes midnight, I reach for the cookie jar. Okay, maybe itís not an actual jar ó maybe Iím even lazier, and I reach for the cardboard box of chocolate chip cookies I bought from the store. The point is, my late-night snack habits are...
Updated one month ago
Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markleís royal wedding

Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markleís royal wedding

The year was 2011. It was the night before Prince Williamís wedding to Kate Middleton, and I stood in my kitchen making chocolate chip scones. I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m., with plans to sit in the spare bedroom of the townhome and watch Britainís ro...
Published: 05/15/18
Taste test: pineapple juice

Taste test: pineapple juice

Having always loved a fresh pineapple stick in my brewed iced tea, I wondered recently if a splash of pineapple juice would give it the same sweet kick. While few of us drink pure pineapple juice, our panelists definitely enjoy an occasional watered-...
Updated one month ago
Branch out: Give Sauteed Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze a try

Branch out: Give Sauteed Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze a try

Asparagus is by far the favorite vegetable of my family. I can serve nearly 3 pounds of asparagus a couple of times a week to my family of six, and my girls will still argue over who gets the last stalk. I say this not to impress you with the adventu...
Updated one month ago