Monday, June 20, 2011

Scallops and Garlic

Sometimes it's fun to cook something a little different.  Living in Wyoming, I don't eat much sea food.  There's just not that much here that's fresh enough to be good.  I seldom even try to make any at home.  Buy fresh sea food in the grocery store?  Sure.

When I lived in Oregon, we were two hours from the coast.  Eating sea food on the coast was amazing, but even grocery store sea food was fresh and delicious.  I love fresh cod.  But moving to Wyoming, that changed.  Cod is horrible here.  Fresh water fish, caught in the lakes and streams, that is good.  Grocery store fish, not so much.

But tonight, I ignored all that.  A friend online cooked scallops and garlic tonight and posted a link to the recipe.  It sounded really good, so I decided to take my chances.
Scallops and Garlic
Leaving work at 7:15 was a mistake.  I went to the grocery store. Safeway, but the fish part of the meat department was closed.  All the fish and sea food had already been put away and the lady running it had already gone home.  I figured I'd try Walmart, since their departments stay open longer, some even 24 hours. I bought the rest of what I would need and headed across town.

Walmart's deli and meat departments were both open, but I guess neither sells fish or sea food of any kind.  All they have is a cabinet of frozen fish and sea food.  Well, I really wanted to try the scallops, so I went with it and bought frozen scallops and headed home.

Frozen scallops under
cold water.
Waiting for the scallops to thaw wasn't an option, but luckily, the package had directions on how to fast thaw them.  You put them in a strainer and run cold water over them.  I had my doubts about cold water thawing anything, but I followed the directions.  I washed a load of dishes to clear out the sink and put the scallops under cold water.  The water seemed frozen to my hands.  Amazingly, by the time the water for the noodles was boiling, they were thawed.

It was then that I realized I had forgot to buy garlic.  Scallops and garlic without garlic?  Yeah, right.  That won't work.  I scrambled around the kitchen digging, and found three cloves that were good.  Relief!

Noodles in water.
Oil in pan.
Flour in bowl.
I put the noodles in pot with the boiling water (adding olive oil to the water as I always do, for taste and to limit sticking), put the olive oil in the pan, and put the flour in the bowl and I was ready to begin.  From the recipe, I would have guessed rolling the scallops in flour would have taken a minute at the most.  The author must know something I don't, because it took between five and ten.  Are you supposed to roll each individual scallop by itself?  I don't know, but that's what I did.

Floured scallops.
Scallops sizzling.
When they were ready, I added the scallops to the pan.  Mmmmm, that was a nice smell.  They sizzled nicely, and the flour seemed to vanish.  I set the timer for four minutes and started working on the garlic.  Two cloves didn't seem much, so I minced all three.  The scallops had been cooking for three minutes when I added them.  The smell got even better.  By the time I had the parsley in, it had been five minutes.  Was I supposed to remove it from the heat after three to four minutes, then add the parsley?  Was I supposed to add the parsley immediately after the garlic at two minutes?  Was I supposed to add it right before the time was up, then take it off the heat?  I don't know. Recipes always say things in ways I can't quite get.  Hence why I usually just wing it and don't use a recipe.  What I did was turn off the heat but leave it on the burner while I added the parsley.  Tearing it off took a bit.

Scallops ready to eat.
And with that it was ready to serve.

Let's see, the recipe said it would take about four minutes to prepare, actually cooking for three to four.

  • 10 minutes from the scallops to thaw and the water to boil.
  • 5 minutes to roll the scallops in flour.
  • 5 minutes to actually cook.
Yep, about four minutes.

And served.
It really did taste good, with only a few complaints.  One, not enough garlic.  I added some garlic powder to it at the table, which helped a little, but it needed more.  I think two bulbs instead of two cloves would be about right.  Two, too starchy.  I probably got too much flour on them, not knowing what I was doing, and I think I cooked the noodles a little long, which can make them more starchy.  The lemon juice was very good with it.  And I think five minutes was good for the scallops.  They seemed about right.  Maybe the recipe was written for low, close to sea level cooking (the website was Southern Food after all), rather than high, 7220 feet above sea level.

Over all, it was a success, despite not having fresh scallops and all the issues with me trying to follow a recipe.  It was worth the time and effort.


No comments:

Post a Comment