When I was younger, I would have never imagined becoming a pescetarian. Okay, a quasi-pescetarian, because since I’ve decided to blog, I am cooking and eating everything at the moment. Anyhow, the smell and flavor of fish, mollusks, etc. just petrified me. I don’t know why, but it did. I would hardly oblige to my mother’s choice of sustenance if it meant eating an aquatic creature. It took some time and travel to change my mind. A few trips to Alaska meant tasting the freshest salmon and halibut straight from the bays and rivers of the Last Frontier. Then, I was taken back at how good the food was in New England. I was introduced to quahogs, which is basically a hard clam. In Massachusetts, seafood boils are the biz. Boston had the best clam chowder (chowdaa, obviously). Martha’s Vineyard showed me how delectable lobster is. Then in Mexico, is where I fell in love with garlic seared calamari sans the tempura or breading. These are some of my travel tales and it goes to show you that you learn a lot about food and culture when you travel. It takes the right places, the right atmospheres and people to get you to try new things. Seafood is now first choice when looking at a restaurant menu.
I think scallops can be your best friend when you want to prepare something that not only looks fancy (trying to impress bae?) but can also be done in a short matter of time.
1. Place scallops on a large dish and using a paper towel or clean dish cloth, press gently on towel to blot liquid. Let scallops sit at room temperature for 10 minutes while towels absorb moisture.
2. Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12‑inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of scallops in single layer, flat side down, and cook, without moving, until well browned, for appx 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Then add the minced garlic in with the scallops (leave some garlic to the side if not all of the scallops will fit in this sitting).
3. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Using tongs, flip scallops and continue to cook, using large spoon to baste scallops with melted butter (tilt skillet so butter runs to 1 side) until sides of scallops are firm and centers are opaque, 30 to 90 seconds longer. Transfer scallops to a large plate. Wipe out skillet with wad of paper towels and repeat cooking with remaining oil, scallops, garlic and butter.
4. Serve on top of cauliflower puree and add a slice of your favorite cooked bacon.