Coast Cooking

Scallops are sweet treats from the sea

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

Scallops are great in clarified butter.
Scallops are great in clarified butter.

We are still in the doldrums of seasons. The weather can’t decide what to do, and it leaves us flapping in the wind, in a culinary sort of way.

One day it is blustery and a big seafood gumbo might be good. The next day the sun is shining, and we can be certain that spring is on the way -- perhaps a nice green salad, with a ripe avocado and spicy boiled shrimp will do?

What’s a poor lost soul to do?

I am going to solve that problem this week by just wandering around a bit with the blog posts. I am going back to my archive of favorite photos and share them with you.

Here goes!

Did you know the better restaurants at the Beau have scallops flown in overnight from one Maine fisherman?

And love scallops I do! They are so delicious when fresh from the sea, and the texture is like no other seafood.

Serve them in a most uncomplicated way. You do not want to confuse their loveliness with heavy sauces or by over spicing them. Perhaps they are best in a little clarified butter with just a hint of garlic. Vestige, in Ocean Springs, is another great spot for this delicacy.

Here are a few cooking tips. Always use the freshest seafood of any kind. Old just doesn’t make it. The way to tell is so simple: smell.

If it smells fresh from the sea, it is good. If it smells “fishy,” all is lost. Never overcook scallops. All they need is a good sear in a very hot pan. Give them a poke with your finger, just like you would do with a steak. The firmer they are, the more well-done. Again, don’t make this a complicated dish. Enjoy the sweet scallop for what it is.

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