The sea scallop is the largest of the scallops. You usually get approximately 20-40 in one pound. They can be bought fresh or frozen. Scallops freeze well, so if they are on sale or you buy too many, freeze them for later use. The raw meats are creamy white in color and sometimes slightly orange due to the food (algae) they consume. Scallops have a distinct, sweet odor when they are fresh. Always take care not to overcook them; they toughen easily. As soon as they lose their translucence and turn opaque, they are done.
The bay scallop resides in bays and estuaries from New England to the Gulf of Mexico. Its muscle reaches about one-half inch in diameter. You usually find about 50-90 in one pound. Bay scallop meats are white with some pink coloration on occasion due to the food (algae) they consume.You need to be especially careful when cooking bay scallops. Because of their size, they tend to overcook very easily and will become tough. They are sweet and tender yet firm when cooked properly.
Ingredients for Ina's Bay Scallop Gratin:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 medium shallots, minced
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, minced
4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Pernod
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 cup panko
6 tablespoons dry white wine
2 pound fresh bay scallops
Lemon, for garnish
Ina's recipe makes six servings, I cooked this for two.
I added the shallots to the magic bullet, a little blender for small chopping jobs.
Threw in the prosciutto also.
To my KitchenAid mixer I added the chopped prosciutto and shallot to butter.
On low speed mix and add parsley, garlic,
Panko is a Japanese bread crumb, very light and flaky.
Fold the panko in with a spatula and set mixture aside.
I first rinsed the scallops in a colander under cold water.
Pat dry and then season with salt and pepper.
Divide the scallops among the gratin dishes. These dishes are so cute, I bought them from Faraday's cooking supply store in Lakeway. They can go in the oven, in the microwave, in the dishwasher and also right to the table. Perfect for this recipe!!
Place gratin dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the topping is golden and sizzling and the scallops are barely done.
Serve immediately with crusty French bread. This is a great recipe to make for a dinner party because you can do most everything ahead of time. Store the flavorful butter in the fridge, clean and place the scallops in a bowl and then when guest arrive simply assemble, bake, then dive in!