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Scallops question

englishsmoker

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Does anyone do any ‘prep’ to scallops, such as dry-brining? Going to try them on the smoker tomorrow, with a piece of salmon that went over very well last time with SWMBO.
 

TNJAKE

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I usually just wrap them in bacon, hit with old bay or Cajun and throw them on the smoker like this
 

indaswamp

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Not to rain on your parade.....but....

FYI, scallops are one of the highest counterfeit seafood items. The fake ones are made from either shark, stingray wings or skate. If they are perfectly round and look like they were cut with a cookie cutter-they probably were. keepin it real......
 

TNJAKE

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Not to rain on your parade.....but....

FYI, scallops are one of the highest counterfeit seafood items. The fake ones are made from either shark, stingray wings or skate. If they are perfectly round and look like they were cut with a cookie cutter-they probably were. keepin it real......
I look for the abductor Muscle on mine. It's the weird hardish tissue part. That will let you know they are real. Always clean that off or will be very chewy and grainy in your cooked scallops
 

thirdeye

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Sam's Club of all places has wonderful sea scallops.

I use a very lite sprinkle of white pepper or a lemon pepper and sear them in browned butter until they are 140°. Then deglaze the pan with a little pat of new butter, a squeeze of lemon and maybe some vino. This is to drizzle them.

That said, a favorite recipe when showing off for guests is:
Coquilles St. Jacques
Recipe courtesy Craig Claiborne

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound sea or bay scallops
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch cayenne


Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan and add the shallots. Cook briefly, stirring, and add the mushrooms. Cook until wilted and add the salt, pepper, and wine. Add the scallops and bring to the boil. Cook until all the scallops are heated through, stirring gently as necessary. Take care not to let the scallops overcook or they will toughen. Using a slotted spoon, remove and set aside the scallops and mushrooms. Reserve the liquid. There should be about > cup of liquid. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add the flour, stirring rapidly with a wire whisk. When blended add the reserved liquid, stirring until thickened and smooth. Add the milk and 1 cup of the cream. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of cayenne. Whip the remaining 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Fold it into the sauce. Use 6 individual scallop shells or ramekins. Spoon equal portions of the scallops and mushrooms into each shell. Spoon the sauce over the scallop mixture. Preheat the broiler to high. Place the filled shells under the broiler about 6 inches from the source of heat and bake until a nice brown glaze forms on top. As the scallops broil, turn shells occasionally for even browning, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
 
Last edited:

indaswamp

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I look for the abductor Muscle on mine. It's the weird hardish tissue part. That will let you know they are real. Always clean that off or will be very chewy and grainy in your cooked scallops
Learn something new everyday....
Scallops are not native to the gulf coast of Louisiana far as I know. And without a way to know what I am buying, I have never bought them. Not that I'm suffering here....plenty of other tasty seafood.
 

chef jimmyj

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Need to Brine Scallops? No...But thats not to say a 30 to 60 minute Marinade in some of your favorite Rub, a splash of Olive Oil and a squeeze of Lemon is a bad thing. Depends on your goals. Are you a Scallop Purist? Then a sprinkling of S & P with a rest while the smoker heats will give the cleanest flavor. Beyond that only your imagination sets the limits on what you add.
Here is a Recipe from the Big Chief around here...

The abductor muscle is often missing on some or most of the scallops Ive been getting. But I know and trust my fish guy. Plus as I have received and inspected may hundreds of pounds of Scallops over the years, I can easily tell a fake from the real deal by sight and smell.
The abductor muscle gets tough when cooked but is a tasty treat raw. On the Fake Scallop front, just had some the other day. The local Chinese Restaurant had a Fried Scallop appetizer as a special, $4.95 for 10 pieces, clued me in right there. The texture was spot on but a distinctly fishy flavor. Not bad but would not bother getting them again. I have had Chopped and Formed then Breaded Scallops, from another Chinese Restaurant. They were quite good. Still tasted like scallops but a bit firmer texture.
Alway look for Dry Sea Scallops, unless making a Bisque or Chowder, they are not pumped full of water and Tripolyphosphate to plump them and retain moisture. Dry Scallops put out very little, if any, liquid when cooked and there is minimal shrinkage. The Wet Scallops will be sitting in a milky liquid and they shrink tremendously when cooked. They put out so much liquid they will not sear. If you live on the Northern East Coast, Day Boat Scallops can be had. They are the fresh and high quality being no more than 24 hours old. Diver Scallops are hand harvested and are considered the freshest and finest to be had...JJ
 

gmc2003

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I've never heard of counterfeit scallops being sold in stores...ummm. I usually try to buy dry scallops, but when I can't I put a couple paper towels on a plate then set the scallops on the towels. Cover then with two more sheets and let them sit in the fridge that way for an hour or so. This seems to help leach out some of the moisture. On cooking them just a simple sprinkle of garlic, salt and pepper. Pan fried in bacon liquid, and of course removal of the foot.

Chris
 

DRKsmoking

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Lots of ways , but Mona likes pan fried salt and pepper. I not big on shell fish.

I know ours are real scallops as i snorkel for them as she really loves them, so that is what I do for her.
If you know where to go and what kind of bottom in the water to look for , no problem to grab a few pounds
a lot cheaper than in the stores at $25.00 =/- per pound, my yearly license is $16.95 so not bad , to just go for a swim when I am asked

David
 

zwiller

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OK. Was just just talking scallops in another thread. We love scallops. IMO scallops benefit from a dry rub. We like to use bold ones say like Don P Redfish Magic, cajun, or my tex mex. Don't go nuts with it and give it a light dusting. Let it work a few hours. When time to cook, get your clip on fan and do a pellicle. This is the key for the sear. The exterior sheen should change from gloss to flat. Then sear in a pan over high heat. I use whirl/butter flavored oil and do it outside.
 

binnesman

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Scallops are sweet that simplicity works best for me. Salt and pepper, hot pan and some good butter nice quick sear and a little lemon heaven. Nothing wrong with bacon wrapped second favorite.
 

WaterRat

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I look for the abductor Muscle on mine. It's the weird hardish tissue part. That will let you know they are real. Always clean that off or will be very chewy and grainy in your cooked scallops
Also on a real scallop the grain runs vertically, you should almost see cracks in the top running to the bottom, in the center, not on the sides. Fake scallops have a horizontal grain (or so I've been told). They are easy enough to get in New England no decent place would risk selling fake. And if the price is too good to be true, it's fake ;) Even here dry scallops rarely dip below $15/lb while wet are $10ish.
 

WaterRat

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Lots of ways , but Mona likes pan fried salt and pepper. I not big on shell fish.

I know ours are real scallops as i snorkel for them as she really loves them, so that is what I do for her.
If you know where to go and what kind of bottom in the water to look for , no problem to grab a few pounds
a lot cheaper than in the stores at $25.00 =/- per pound, my yearly license is $16.95 so not bad , to just go for a swim when I am asked

David
Curious where you can snorkel for them? I get them diving ocassionally but usually need to be at least 130 feet deep in my area- South of Long Island or ouside of Block. The exception is a couple times I've gone up to Gloucester, MA where they are much shallower.
 

thirdeye

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I've never heard of counterfeit scallops being sold in stores...ummm. I usually try to buy dry scallops, but when I can't I put a couple paper towels on a plate then set the scallops on the towels. Cover then with two more sheets and let them sit in the fridge that way for an hour or so. This seems to help leach out some of the moisture. On cooking them just a simple sprinkle of garlic, salt and pepper. Pan fried in bacon liquid, and of course removal of the foot.

Chris
Imitation scallops might be sold in some retail outlets, as the imitation krab is.... but at least krab is identified by the spelling and the incredibly lower price. Imitation scallops used by restaurants in appetizers (fried and stuffed appetizers) or in a saucy dish like seafood Newburg are where the customer is deceived.

I quit buying them because of that. Not sure where to buy dry or if I could afford them?
I mentioned Sam's Club earlier, the scallops they sell have the description below. they used to come in 5# bags, now they are in 1.5# bags for $27. So $18/lb. For the local options I have, they are the best deal and quality in town.

About this item
  • North Atlantic sea scallops with fresh flavor
  • Frozen immediately to preserve freshness
  • Caught, shucked and rinsed of any sand or grains in the wild
  • Dried scallops with no added chemicals or preservatives
  • Marked with the U.S. Grade A stamp of approval for certified high-quality scallops
 

gmc2003

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Imitation scallops might be sold in some retail outlets, as the imitation krab is.... but at least krab is identified by the spelling and the incredibly lower price. Imitation scallops used by restaurants in appetizers (fried and stuffed appetizers) or in a saucy dish like seafood Newburg are where the customer is deceived.
Ok I've seen the imitation crab and lobster meat sold in stores, but like you said it's clearly marked and priced as such. The way I read Indas post #3 is that they were trying to pass off imitation scallops in the seafood section of grocery stores as real. I haven't seen that yet. I'm also disappointed to hear that restaurants are pulling the rug out from under their customers by using substitutions. Thanks for the heads up.

Chris
 

thirdeye

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Ok I've seen the imitation crab and lobster meat sold in stores, but like you said it's clearly marked and priced as such. The way I read Indas post #3 is that they were trying to pass off imitation scallops in the seafood section of grocery stores as real. I haven't seen that yet. I'm also disappointed to hear that restaurants are pulling the rug out from under their customers by using substitutions. Thanks for the heads up.

Chris
I'm not suggesting that stores are selling imitation scallops as the real deal, I've never seen that product. Every article I've read explains how a seafood supplier can 'cookie cut' discs of rayfish or something to produce a fake product then I assume it's sold to restaurants. So the temptation exists for restaurants to sell a lower cost product at a higher price. Much like showing Prime beef on the menu and buying Choice.

I went to a restaurant/bar in Montana that claimed that ALL their beef is Certified Angus (CAB), even the ground meat in the burgers. But it was in a town of 2000 people. I asked the bartender how it's practical to stock such expensive beef and he said "...most of the time all the beef served is CAB." So, at least he was honest.
 

gmc2003

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I'm not suggesting that stores are selling imitation scallops as the real deal, I've never seen that product. Every article I've read explains how a seafood supplier can 'cookie cut' discs of rayfish or something to produce a fake product then I assume it's sold to restaurants. So the temptation exists for restaurants to sell a lower cost product at a higher price. Much like showing Prime beef on the menu and buying Choice.

I went to a restaurant/bar in Montana that claimed that ALL their beef is Certified Angus (CAB), even the ground meat in the burgers. But it was in a town of 2000 people. I asked the bartender how it's practical to stock such expensive beef and he said "...most of the time all the beef served is CAB." So, at least he was honest.
It's starting to sound a lot like the [email protected] tuna fish fiasco.

Chris
 

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