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Scallops


Barbara
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Am debating whether to cook something unusual for Craig's birthday on Wednesday. Or, convince him to satisfy his addiction to Wabeck's fried oysters at Firefly. I was looking through the Molly Stevens Braising Cookbook and found the carmelized scallops. My favorite Vietnamese restaurant (Viet Chateau in Woodley Park--RIP) had caramelized shrimp which I just loved.

I was wondering if anybody here has made this and what did you think of it? It certainly looks easy enough.

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I have not made this, but just looked it up after your post. It looks sublime. Do share if you make it!!

OK. I was hoping somebody would chime in pronto with a yeah or nay. This is turning out to be such a hellacious week. On Craig's birthday, we have to go to a memorial service. Really. Because of that, I have had to change the date of delivery of his birthday present (which he doesn't know anything about) to later in the week. And, I'm not sure if I will have to accompany a family member to visit a lawyer later in the day or not. So, making the caramel sauce in advance will be a snap and cooking the scallops won't take much time. I will indeed make this in the next few days and report back. However, Firefly is starting to look better and better. Besides, I haven't had the lamb shoulder with the tomato-bread pudding yet.

It kind of reminds of my own birthday earlier this year. My mother died two days before (it was not exactly a surprise--just the timing). We went to Firefly. I wonder if John Wabeck (sp?) reads this section and wonders if his place is for solace, at least in our household.

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Barbara,

I am so sorry for your losses!

I hope that Craig does get decent birthday celebration.

And please don't keep us in suspense--let us know how the scallops dish turns out, if you do make it.

A recipe wouldn't hurt, either.

Hang in there, and I hope the next year is better for both of you.

ScotteeM

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I finally made this Sunday night. My first mistake (I think) was to buy the scallops at the Safeway. They were on sale and looked nice and plump, but may have been the "wet pack" kind--nobody there knew what I was talking about. Or, maybe I'm not particularly fond of scallops. I threw in some shrimp, too.

I made this recipe exactly as written. There seemed to be an awful lot of shallots. The recipe calls for two, minced. I wish there had been a measurement instead, like 1/4 cup or whatever.

The result reminded me of a version (made with salmon) I had at a short-lived Vietnamese restaurant which was located where Mantis is now. I much prefer the version I had at the late, lamented Viet Chateau.

The next time I make this, I will try to tweak the recipe. First, I would NOT make the caramel quite so dark. Second, I would add more water to the fish sauce. And, third, I would cook the shallots and then strain them out before cooking the seafood (I think I'll stick with shrimp). I believe this will get closer to what I remember.

On the other hand, this is one of simplest recipes in the entire book, and doesn't take very long at all.

One note about what to drink with this: several years ago I read that Gewurztraminer, as odd as that seems, is what goes best with Thai and other Asian dishes. The bottle we had worked very well with this dish.

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I finally made this Sunday night.  My first mistake (I think) was to buy the scallops at the Safeway.  They were on sale and looked nice and plump, but may have been the "wet pack" kind--nobody there knew what I was talking about.  Or, maybe I'm not particularly fond of scallops.  I threw in some shrimp, too.

I made this recipe exactly as written.  There seemed to be an awful lot of shallots.  The recipe calls for two, minced.  I wish there had been a measurement instead, like 1/4 cup or whatever.

The result reminded me of a version (made with salmon) I had at a short-lived Vietnamese restaurant which was located where Mantis is now.  I much prefer the version I had at the late, lamented Viet Chateau.

The next time I make this, I will try to tweak the recipe.  First, I would NOT make the caramel quite so dark.  Second,  I would add more water to the fish sauce.  And, third, I would cook the shallots and then strain them out before cooking the seafood (I think I'll stick with shrimp).  I believe this will get closer to what I remember.

On the other hand, this is one of simplest recipes in the entire book, and doesn't take very long at all.

One note about what to drink with this:  several years ago I read that Gewurztraminer, as odd as that seems, is what goes best with Thai and other Asian dishes.  The bottle we had worked very well with this dish.

Barbara, if it's not too difficult, would you mind posting or pm'ing me the recipe?

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Nantucket scallops are INCREDIBLE right now. In the last week, I've had them at three restaurants, and all were amazing - they're little baby things, no bigger than tater tots. If you see them on menus in the next week or two, get them! To heck with U-10s! Get these!

Cheers,

Rocks.

For home cooks, BlackSalt sells them. Too bad they cost around $30 a pound.

But still, they might make a lovely surprise supper for a loved one who loves scallops. Can anyone (Zora? Sthitch?)) suggest a good way to prepare these that would preserve their character? (In other words, not in a spicy seafood stew.)

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But still, they might make a lovely surprise supper for a loved one who loves scallops. Can anyone (Zora? Sthitch?)) suggest a good way to prepare these that would preserve their character? (In other words, not in a spicy seafood stew.)

It might be helpful if Don describes the dishes that he enjoyed so much. Otherwise, don't do anything or accompany them with anything that would detract from their delicate deliciousness. I might sautee and then serve with a buerre blanc and some finely chopped fresh herbs--tarragon, parsley, chives. Sides could be haricots verts and a potato-celery root puree.

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The best preparation I have ever had was at Sushi-Ko where they were served as a Tempura, I had a similar dish with a native variety of bay scallops in Tokyo that were fried in a tempura batter and then served on rice with miso soup poured overtop.

When I have cooked them in the past I have found that the hardest part is keeping them from over-cooking, and I have found that trying to get a crust by sautéing them and not overcooking the little morsels is practically undoable (and at $30 a pound too much of a risk to take). I have found the most success with simply broiling them until they are just opaque and then serving them with a lemon buerre fondue (light on the juice). I find they work best as an appetizer so I am not sure that they need anything else but some decent crusty bread.

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Is it possible to get dry pack scallops in the DC area without paying $20+ a pound for them? When I buy them from the fish market near my MIL's house in PA, they are beautiful and only $8.95 a pound. Even when they are advertised as "Diver Scallops", such as at Harris Teeter, all the milky liquid in the tray tells me they are not.

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