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The Mast-Head: Scallops Adobo

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 12:07

This whole scallop thing has me puzzled. There aren’t enough to go around as far as a commercial take goes, but I have had my best year ever diving for them with a mask and snorkel. This has given me a chance to mess with them in the kitchen in a way I would not if I had anted up for a pound or two.

I have sautéed them with rosemary and olive oil as well as alone with flour, salt, and pepper in peanut oil, which my father told me was best. I skewered some and cooked them over a log fire in the fireplace the way you would marshmallows.

A trip to the market for real Mexican dried adobo peppers resulted in a delicious marinade with garlic, oil, salt, pepper, and cumin (these I ran under the broiler).

Lisa tried splashing them with lime before cooking them in a cast-iron pan. I had some leftover winter vegetable soup with dashi, or dried bonito, stock, and I tossed in about a dozen of the fattest scallop meats. And I still have about a pound stashed in the fridge.

Working on a collection of re­cipes for Thanks­giving that had been published in The Star over the years, what passed for good cooking then was dramatic compared to now. Cream and milk were poured over everything, including scallops. A shellfish stew called for beef bouillon (alpha-gal sufferers, beware if you are given a chance to sign up for a ride in a time machine). Bonacker-style, I have spread the empty scallop shells on a sandy patch in the driveway; they make a satisfying crunch as I back up over them to turn around.

Weather permitting, the scallops have been a reminder to get back in the water for more until it’s too cold to go in.


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