Behold nature’s perfect mollusk. And yet this tasty and nearly always available bivalve inspires such fear in the home chef. Like me for example. I’ve cooked a thousand scallops and still find myself looking up the recipe every time I whip up a batch. And yet it is so simple – just add fat, heat, critters, salt & pepper. (See below for the no-miss prep.)
On weeknights, my wife gravitates towards bedtime hours earlier than I and if she has had a rough day at the mill, dinner might be a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t begrudge her this. I love that stuff. But I am a night owl and cooking is my late-nite respite, so this meal works for one or two and takes no time to make at all. I mean, really – 15 minutes from hunger pang to sit-down. The secret ingredient?
Now before everyone excoriates me for sodium intake and added sugars, let me just say, I know! The only health benefit this particular column is meant to extol is relaxing in front of the TV with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc. So break the rules just this once and accompany your extremely healthy and low-fat seafood with The San Francisco Treat. Easy to make and I promise, it tastes as delicious as it looks. But if you need to offset the guilt, try this!
Smashed cucumber salad with beans and peppers and scallions and frankly, anything healthy you can drum up. While your fragrant rice is simmering, this dish takes about 90 seconds to prepare. I dressed it in extra virgin and rice vinegar along with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. The flavor absolutely pops.
The end game here? A modest and [mostly] healthy meal. One that takes fifteen minutes soup to nuts, weighs in on the budget at around eight bucks, and gets you to your happy place in no time at all. Cooking should always be this fun.
Simple Scallops Recipe
How to Prepare Scallops
• Buy fresh sea scallops that have not been soaked in solution
• Tamp dry with a paper towel, all sides
• Salt and pepper each side to taste
• Heat two tbsp of butter and/or extra virgin olive oil until it is smoking hot
• Lay scallops in the hot oil with a little room around each one and walk away!
• Check on the kids, call Mom to say hi or have some more wine
• In 3 minutes or so, flip once and once only
• Watch the side of the scallops. When it is translucent in the middle, you are done