Scallops

Ah, the warmth of spring. Trees start showing buds while a few plants make their first little upward thrusts as they try to reach out for the warm rays of the sun. Well, that may be the case in some parts of the country, but as they say: “Welcome to the Sierra.”

For us, this has been one heck of a topsy-turvy spring. I’m pretty sure we had a full week and a half of great spring weather in April, but since then it has pretty much gone back and forth from sun to rain — or snow.

One thing resulting from winters’ refusal to go away until next year is that the mountain has still got some coverage. This leads to more late-season guests staying at the house. After a recent visit from friends, I got home one night to find a box that had been over-nighted on my porch. Inside was perhaps one of my favorite seafoods of all time. I am talking about Nantucket Bay scallops.

These are, hands down, the best scallops in the world and they are one of the few things I might choose over lobster, clams or ahi. They are incredibly sweet and really don’t need much in the way of sauce or added ingredients. In fact, they are so sweet, I usually like them prepared the simplest ways possible. I will use these methods with other bay scallops, too, but usually add a few more ingredients with sea scallops just to compensate for the slightly stronger taste.

Oh, and by the way, did I happen to mention that these scallops were fresh. That’s right, these were caught off of Nantucket and shucked the day before.

Anyway, the next time you have bay scallops, first sear a single scallop and taste it to see how sweet it is. If it is pretty sweet, try these methods. If they are not quite that sweet, add a touch of white wine, garlic and lemon and enjoy.


For two people

Scallops Method No. 1
8 oz. scallops
1 T butter
½ T clarified butter or vegetable oil

Get the pan hot and add the clarified butter or oil. Sear the scallops quickly until golden, seasoning them lightly with salt and pepper. Remove them from the pan. Place the pan back on the oven and brown the butter. When the butter is golden, toss the scallops quickly and serve.

Scallops Method No. 2
8 oz. scallops
1 T butter
½ T clarified butter or vegetable oil
2 T red wine vinegar

Get the pan hot and add the clarified butter or oil. Sear the scallops quickly until golden, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan. Place the pan back on the stove and reduce the vinegar until it is just a paste. Add the butter and let it brown. Toss the scallops quickly in the sauce and serve.