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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scalloped Edges

Last night I thought I would be brave and cook scallops.  I normally stay away from scallops for two reasons: the first is that it is very easy to overcook and then they end up rubbery, and the second is that many scallops are not really from a shellfish, but are punched from fish cheeks.

Looking through my Deen Family Cookbook, I found a Paula Deen recipe for Seared Scallops with Pineapple-Cucumber Salsa on page 156.  I put both of my scallop concerns aside, went ahead, and purchased about two pounds from Costco.  I also had to pick up some pineapple, a jalapeno pepper, and a cucumber for the recipe.

The meal only took about 30 minutes to prepare.  The first step was to fix the salsa by chopping pineapple, the cucumber, one-half a red onion, the jalapeno pepper, and some fresh parsley.  This was all mixed in a bowl and then I added the zest and juice from one-half a lime.  I added a little salt and pepper and tried the taste.  It was a little too hot, so I chopped and added another wedge of pineapple and mixed it all up and it tasted much better.  The recipe calls for cilantro instead of the parsley, but I don’t care for cilantro.  I also didn’t add the hot sauce as the onion and jalapeno added enough fire to the mixture.

I washed and dried the scallops, then sprinkled on a little salt a pepper.  I heated a little olive oil in my large frying pan over medium high heat then added the scallops to the pan.  Paula recommends cooking the scallops for two to three minutes a side until golden brown.  After three minutes I turned each scallop over and found that the ones near the outside of the pan were browning, but those in the center were sautéing.  I moved all the scallops so they were near the outside edge of the pan.  I might have used too large a gas burner so the middle of the pan was not getting as much heat.  I also cooked the scallops just a little longer than recommended to make sure they cooked all the way through.

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner of scallops, pineapple-cucumber salsa and sliced tomato.  The scallops were cooked to perfection and very tender.  The salsa had a nice contrast of cool from the pineapple and cucumber to the heat of the jalapeno.  I added the tomatoes for a nice addition of color to the plate.

I highly recommend this recipe and we will use it again.  Now I need to find another similar recipe so we can use the leftover salsa.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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