'Tis the season!
I love the whole idea of Nantucket Bay scallops. I vacationed there for many summers. It truly is a magical place. If you ever go be sure to have a meal at the Brotherhood of Thieves - a famous bistro that's been there for decades. My parents would stay at the fancy (and expensive) White Elephant Hotel, while I opted for one of the many charming Bed and Breakfasts. Speaking of breakfast, break the diet and have a homemade donuts at the Downy Flake. And, of course, the tiny island is famous for its Nantucket Bay scallops.
From now through December these gems are in season. I think I could have them for dinner a few times a week. My fish monger said they are sushi quality and can be consumed raw. I tasted one that way and it was OK - but a quick sauté is better.
My fish monger said they were caught this morning
I was reluctant to buy them at first. I've mastered sea scallops after many disasterous attempts. I always over cooked them and they came out rubbery. But Pascal said to cook them for 30 seconds on each side in hot oil and a little butter and they'd be perfect.
I dried the scallops in paper towels and put a heavy bowl on them (top left)
As I do with sea scallops, I dried the scallops in paper towels. I put the butter out several hours earlier so it would be nice and soft and melt easily with the olive oil. There are different schools of thoughts on rolling them in flour. Some people think flour dulls the pristine flavor. I don't think it matters and mine came out so well I will continue using flour - though if I get adventerous and try it without the flour I will let you know. The important thing is not to overcook them. They take just about a minute.
My school of thought: dredge the scallops in flour
Sauté in extra virgin olive oil and a pad of butter. My side dish of roasted eggplant and tomatoes in the background. When they're done drizzle with fresh lemon juice.
The finished product. Two words: yum, yum.
I had eggplant on the side. Another easy to prepare dish. You cut the eggplant in half, score a checkerboard pattern with a sharp knife, slice plum tomatoes, but on top, sprinkle extra virgin olive oil on top, a dash of Herbs de Provence and roast for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Cut the eggplant in half and score a checkerboard pattern on top
Top with sliced plum tomatoes
For the scallops
1/2 lb Nantucket Bay scallops per person
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsns extra virgin olive oil
1 pad butter
For the Eggplant
1 medium eggplant (depending on appetite, either a half or whole per person)
2 plum tomatoes per eggplant
1 tspn extra virgin olive oil
1 tbspn Herbs de Provence
For the scallops
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. You want it very hot when you add the scallops.
Dry scallops in paper towels. Place a moderately heavy object on top to help dry.
Add olive oil and butter to pan.
Dredge scallops through flour. Shake off excess.
Add to the very hot oil and butter.
Cook for approximately 30 seconds each side - until they start to turn golden brown.
Remove from heat and serve immediately.
For the eggplant
Cut eggplant in half length-wise
Score a checkerboard pattern on top using sharp knife - about 1/4" deep
Slice tomatoes and arrange on top; one tomato for each half eggplant
Drizzle olive oil and grind Herbs de Provence on top
Roast for 45 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven
Eggplant can rest in the oven (with it turned off) while you cook scallops
Nantucket light house