Scallops are one of the few things you can confidently buy flash frozen. They perish quickly after being harvested, so they are almost always shucked at sea and iced down or frozen. Some of the best bay scallops come from the island of Nantucket and when you come across them during their short autumn season, grab them.
I used to get them in New York at my fish monger on the upper East Side but here in Georgia that is a pipe dream. Last week I bought some flash frozen from my local Publix and was surprised at how sweet and tender they were. We had them with a mustard sauce one night and tonight I decided to cook them in butter, or Meuniere style. They did not disappoint.
One word of caution. Bay scallops defrost fairly quickly, so don't rush them. If you can, take them out the night before and leave them in the refrigerator. Otherwise, you can start defrosting them early in the afternoon, but put them back in the fridge once they are almost defrosted.
You can accompany them with white rice, like we did, or with a crusty French baguette. If you can splurge, a white Puligny Montrachet would be divine, although a less expensive French Muscadet goes rather well with shell fish.
Serves two as a main course, or four as a very elegant appetizer.
For the recipe, click below
Bay Scallops Meuniere
1 lbs bay scallops, fresh or flash frozen
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup white flour
2 cloves of garlic mashed
1 1/2 TB olive oil
4 1/2 TB unsalted butter
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
2 TB. chopped fresh parley
2 ramekins or scallop shells if making as a main course
4 for a first course
1 French baguette or white rice to serve
Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 250 degrees. Warm the ramekins and the bread, if you are having it, while the scallops cook.
Pat scallops dry in paper towels. Place them in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the flour to the scallops and toss to thinly coat them. Transfer to a colander and shake to remove excess flour.
Heat the oil and 1 1/2 TB of the butter in a 12 inch skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Add the mashed garlic and cook until translucent. You might have to reduce heat a bit so the garlic does not burn. Remove from the pan. Return heat to moderately high.
Add the scallops in a single layer and do not touch or turn them for at least a couple of minutes or until you see they are golden in the bottom. Toss or flip and do the same on the other side. They should be golden and cooked through. Approximately 4 minutes.
Take the warm ramekins out of the oven and with a slotted spoon, divide the scallops among the ramekins.
Turn the oven to broil. (don't forget to take out the bread if you are warming!!)
Do not clean the skillet. Return to moderately high heat.
Add the remaining 3 TB butter and the lemon juice and stir occasionally until butter is melted and foamy.
Remove from the heat and add parsley and correct seasonings.
Although the recipe did not say so, I placed the ramekins under the hot broiler for about 2 minutes.
Serve with white rice or a crusty baguette.
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Today