Bay scallops are much smaller than sea scallops, averaging about 100 per pound; sea scallops are around three times larger, averaging about 30 per pound. One obvious benefit is the short cooking time bay scallops need, plus they tend to be more tender and a bit sweeter. This recipe can also be made with larger sea scallops. Slice them into thinner pieces and be sure to remove the small, tough side muscle, if it is present.
The scallops take very little preparation; toss them with some flour and chop the garlic. Since cooking time is only about 3 minutes, have all of the ingredients and meal items ready when you add the scallops to the pan. Avoid overcooking them, as they can become tough and rubbery when overcooked.
If you would like to add vegetables to the scallops, mushrooms are a good choice. Saute about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms for about 2 minutes before you add the scallops to the pan. Or for a smokey flavor, garnish the scallops with a few tablespoons of cooked crumbled bacon or pancetta. Browned butter is another excellent flavor enhancer. Brown 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the cooked scallops. If you are adhering to a low carb diet, feel free to skip the flour dusting.
A combination of garlic and olive oil make the flavors in this dish similar to shrimp scampi. They make a tasty topping for hot boiled rice. Angel hair pasta is another excellent choice. The garnish of fresh chopped parsley adds flavor and color to the dish. Feel free to garnish the scallops with sliced green onion tops or chives if you like. Or sprinkle the scallops with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese.
- Rinse the scallops thoroughly with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Put the flour in a shallow bowl; roll the scallops in the flour.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, add the scallops and cook for 90 seconds, stirring frequently.
- Add the minced garlic and stir to blend. Continue to cook and turning for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer.
- Garnish the scallops with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
- Serve with hot cooked pasta or rice along with sauteed spinach or Swiss chard.
- Bits of sand can hide in small cracks on the surface of the scallops, so rinse them thoroughly under cold running water. Scallops can release quite a bit of moisture, so pat them dry with paper towels before cooking.
- Wet-pack scallops are fine, but try to avoid scallops labeled "water added." Dry-pack scallops are usually of higher quality but might be hard to find. The scallops shouldn't look too wet or too dry. Avoid frozen scallops.
- Here are some complementary vegetables, seasonings, and flavors that go well with scallops: asparagus, mushrooms, browned butter, bacon, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, white wine, black pepper, pancetta, Parmesan cheese, spinach, Swiss chard, carrots, and celery.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|