Saturday, January 26, 2008

Baked Scallops

This recipe comes from The Woodbine Cottage - Our Favorite Recipes. The Woodbine Cottage in Sunapee NH was (it closed about 15 years ago) a favorite restaurant of my parents while I was growing up. I had baked scallops with sweet potato balls and Caesar salad there on several occasions. In making the recipe below, I would use 1/3 pound of scallops per person and top with Whole Foods spinach panko. As I recall, the Woodbine used small “bay” scallops. Fresh bay scallops work very well (but are usually very expensive); don’t use the cheaper frozen china bay scallops. This dish is definately much better if done with "dry scallops". "Dry scallops" are scallops that have not been soaked in phosphates ("wet scallops") which causes them to absorb water and loose flavor; the phosphates also make the scallops "look better" to some consumers and prevent them from losing water, hence weight, hence market profits. Dry scallops are occasionally, but not usually, advertised as such; you will probably need to ask the fish monger if the scallops are "dry"/unsoaked.

Larger scallops should be sliced, retaining the round shape, to cook more evenly but still may require a longer cooking time.

Individual serving:

In a large scallop shell or scallop shaped ceramic dish place:

8 oz scallops [I usually use 6 oz.]
1 T butter, melted [I use 1 - 1 1/2 t]
1 T white wine
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cover with:

Fine bread crumbs [spinach or lemon herb panko]

Put scallop shells on a sheet pan and place under the broiler about 3 inches from the heat for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Watch the top of the panko and don’t burn! If cooking larger scallops for longer than 4 minutes, you may need to move pan further from broiler to finish cooking.

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