Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Last, but not least. Something to look forward to this coming weekend!
Just saw this in the NY Times, and it made my mouth water. Thanks to Mark Bittman, I know what we're going to be grilling up this weekend, even if we are surrounded by moving boxes and packing tape while we do it!
Creamy, sweet, briny and meaty at the same time, scallops are the most user-friendly of mollusks, and the recipes here won’t unnecessarily complicate things. Half call for grilling, the remainder leave the scallops raw.
Much more difficult than cooking scallops is buying scallops. As with most seafood these days, unless you’re on the boat yourself — or have a trustworthy source — it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting. Because scallops are often soaked in a phosphate solution that plumps them up with water (therefore making added water part of the selling price), it’s important to look for scallops that are labeled “dry” or “dry-packed.” A waterlogged scallop doesn’t sear well, and a phosphate-marinated scallop may taste like soap, especially when it’s raw, so make sure to ask for dry.
In most parts of the country, at most times of year, you want sea scallops, the big ones that are harvested year round. True bay scallops — possibly the best and certainly the priciest — are mostly caught off Long Island and Cape Cod in the winter. (Other “bay” scallops, like the calico or other smallish varieties, are not really worth buying. West Coast pink scallops are lovely, if you can find them.) Many scallops are also sold individually quick-frozen (I.Q.F.), but opt for fresh if you can. One note on preparation: Err on the side of undercooking. Take the scallops off the grill before they’re opaque all the way through. If you undercook a scallop, it will still be delicious. If you overcook a scallop, it will get rubbery and you may get sad. Buying tasty scallops is more than half the battle. Treating them simply once you get them to the kitchen is the rest.