July 22, 2009

Virginia Seafood + Seared Scallops

I'm completely ecstatic to learn that Virginia is the 4th largest producer of seafood in the U.S. (1. Alaska, 2. Washington, 3. Louisiana). Most of the goodies, especially the shellfish, come from the Chesapeake Bay - that large body of water right above Norfolk/Hampton Roads. The rest of it comes from the surrounding areas of the Atlantic waters. We've got everything from blue crab and oysters to black sea bass and mackerel! Some species are wild-caught and others are sustainably farmed but everything is always fresh and local.

So in honor of this great accomplishment, I bought some beautifully plumb, juicy, sweet sea scallops from a local fishmonger (Welton Seafoods in Ghent). About 3 times bigger than their baby cousins, the bay scallop, they're also not as tender or sweet, but usually cheaper and a better filler for a dinner dish. I turned some left-over mango salsa into a "relish" by adding olive oil and then heating up the mix in a saucepan. And for a side, I made mashed potatoes with the red russets I bought from the Farm Market awhile ago. Being new potatoes (freshly dug out of the ground) they were less starchy and required less time to boil. For the scallops, I simply seared them in some butter.

To sear the scallops:
  • Rinse under cold water to remove sand (I have to admit that I didn't wash mine thoroughly and crunchy sounds were coming out of Jason's mouth!)
  • Pat them dry (or else they will steam, instead of sear)
  • Salt and pepper both sides
  • Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large pan. Wait until hot and starting to brown.
  • Sear scallops in butter 1.5 - 2 minutes on each side. Make sure they have breathing room. Don't over cook or they'll be tough! Scallops should be translucent and tender in the middle and opaque and browned at the ends.
Simple and delicious! I later found out that Jason doesn't even like scallops! What a waste... $15.99 a lb... (1/2 lb should feed 2 people, with sides). SIGH.

1 comment:

  1. thats looks yummy!!! i love should have made it for me =P