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Scallops [Merged Topic]


awbrig
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I had scallops at a usually fine restaurant last week that were completely tasteless.  The didn't smell or taste off, just flavorless.  Is this a sign of soaking the scallops?

If this was answered, sorry I didn't see it. Any comments?

I just didn't want to publically admit that I didn't know. :wink::biggrin:

Nick

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Hey Nickn,

Skatewing Scallops are for tourists! :wink:  :biggrin:

Nick

Hey Nickg, This sure was fun! :biggrin: Couldn't help but do a little messing around after Basil brought it up.

Basil - the fake roe story hasn't hit the street yet and I don't want to be first to tip the barrel. :wink:

But, seriously, I wondered whether scallops over there were different in texture, taste, etc. Salinity, temp and stuff like that makes a difference. When I was looking for scallops for Nickg I found that some friends have one channel they can drag where they say the scallops are the best. Nothing in commercial quantity, just the best scallops for home eating.

Dave, an arch punch is what the pic shows. Used for cutting round shapes from leather, rubber, cork, etc., etc.

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In Chicago, my people tell me this is a top supplier wholesale and retail:

L Isaacson & Stein Fish Co.

800 W Fulton Street

Chicago IL  60607  

(312) 421-2444

Brigman, this is excellent info. We used to live within 4 blocks of the market and bought seafood there regularly.

It's a little out of the Gold Coast, but never you fear! :biggrin:

Whoever mentioned TJ's frozen scallops, I agree.

(Full disclosure: I am not a scallop fan. In my extreme youth the very smell of them made me gag. I'm over that now, but prefer the little guys, not the big divers.

And His Handsomeness has made that CT recipe. I'd call it first rate, even though I have a latent scallop aversion!)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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All this scallop talk got me to go out and buy some today. Yes, I actually bought some scallops. I went from place to place and finally found some I thought might be worth buying at our own supermarket here in town. In a little plastic container with a cover. No one was looking so I lifted the cover to have a smell. Just Right!

A sweet scallop smell. Tomorrow maybe, the day after for sure, they'll be over the edge. If you buy seafood when it's really fresh it has no character. If so, let the character develop in your fridge until it arrives.

The old Lion, Craig's father, taught me this. I used to get cod and hake right off Craig's boat the day it was caught - (one time I got a little tiny flat fish [flounder] still moving, sitting on top of a pile of shrimp in a five gallon bucket that were themselves still moving. I filleted the little flat fish and fried it in butter. It was delicious.)

Anyhow, just by chance Craig and Muttonchops stopped by tonight and I uncorked the scallops for a smell. They agreed that these scallops were in their prime. Craig and Mutton are in their late forties and been fishing all their lives - except for a few stretches in state and federal facilities for various infractions of the law.

The point I'm trying to get across is that seafood has to develop, age, to get to its prime. Everybody wants aged beef. Same thing happens with seafood only quicker.

Oh yeah, Craig and I decided it's time for Gulf shrimp - with Cindy's pumpkin muffins. I'll be ressurecting the shrimp thread.

Edit: Flatfish should be eaten fresh. It won't age like cod.

Edit again: I shouldn't imply that all seafood "ages" with grace. My main experience has been with cod. That, I think, does improve if done right. I usually keep it in plastic so it doesn't dry out. And the fridge is kept at 33-35F. The aging time is measured in days.

HB's post below also got me to thinking that this isn't for people who can't get truly fresh - like right off a day boat. Some of the stuff off the big boats has been treated with some kind of preservative (don't know if it's tri-poly) and it will never age. All you get is something that smells weird. Though I don't know much about cheeses, aging of cod and scallops, for instance, may be similar in developing a certain "ripeness".

Edited by Nickn (log)
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nice post nickn...im looking forward to my scallop dinner this friday too!

ok, so the question is, do i get fresh or do I get frozen...i never have purchased or even considered frozen fish - except lobster/shrimp, but after reading a few fans of frozen scallops its got me thinking...what do you think?

Edited by awbrig (log)
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Fresh vs. frozen - I've never had a problem with any frozen seafood. I've certainly had problems with "fresh" seafood that was probably previously frozen anyway, then sat in the store for dog-knows-how-long. I've bought scallops that weren't frozen, sitting in that milky bath of tri-poly; I won't make that mistake again.

The party line of the frozen-food producers is that it's frozen right on the boat, shortly after catch, and is therefore "fresher" than the stuff at the counter that may have sat there for who-knows. Sounds good to me; I have no info to indicate otherwise. I've never heard of 'aging' seafood, but if so, the aging is measured in hours, or a day at most. I don't have Nickn's vast experience on this subject.

A couple weeks ago, I bought 5 pounds of frozen 10-20 scallops on sale at $6/lb. Origin unknown, but they are chemical free and delicious.

Ultimately, the frozen or non decision probably depends on how much you're willing to pay, and your proximity to where the scallops actually came from. I'm on the west coast, so never-frozen eastern scallops would cost more than I choose to pay or would have that "not so fresh" feeling. Given that you're not on the east cost, I'd choose frozen, unless you had a spotless provenance for the scallops and don't care what they cost.

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Report on last night's scallops and tonight's. Last night after Craig and Mutton left, I broiled the larger scallops wrapped with bacon. Delicious.

Last night when Craig and Mutton were here all kinds of talk was going on. Winches, shrimp, scallops, fishing rules and regulations, what's happened to the taste of deer meat from one place or another, etc. At some point in all this, I heard Mutton say something about a way to do scallops. Craig and I both having our own businesses - he has two boats and a wharf and I a small steelworking business - we were discussing weighty matters. Mutton's thing about cooking scallops registered in the background with me. I called him tonight before I did the rest of the scallops.

Make garlic butter to your liking and crush up some saltines with a rolling pin. Get the garlic butter to temp in the pan and add the crackers. Mix well and add the scallops. Cook until scallops are lightly browned.

It's delicious. The cracker crumbs especially. Of course this recipe is only from a simple crewman and cooked by a simple steelworker. Might not suit the more refined palates of some members. :smile:

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It's delicious. The cracker crumbs especially. Of course this recipe is only from a simple crewman and cooked by a simple steelworker. Might not suit the more refined palates of some members. :smile:

In which case panko or your own home-made toasted bread crumbs would do.

Scallops are lovely, Nick. What did you have with them? Or just the scallops?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Nick, I've been on a spinach binge for the last two weeks. I just saute briefly with butter, salt and pepper. Eat it with toast, with rice, wityh fish, with anything.

What short grain brown rice do you use? Lundberg Farms (they have organic and actual) sells a great short grain brown. Luscious.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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What short grain brown rice do you use? Lundberg Farms (they have organic and actual) sells a great short grain brown. Luscious.

I'm pretty sure it's Lundberg. Get it out of the bin at the coop. It's been coming through pretty clean lately without much green at all.

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Great. Lovely stuff. I can't do long grain brown rice any more, though thirty years ago I shovelled it back. The Lundberg brown short grain was such a joy that anything less was just "less".

Oh. Nick, I might have missed this but did you get the scallop roe? Does anyone in North America use it?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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In Chicago, my people tell me this is a top supplier wholesale and retail:

L Isaacson & Stein Fish Co.

800 W Fulton Street

Chicago IL  60607 

(312) 421-2444

Isaacson is a great market, but it's hard to get someone to help you.

My favorite place in Chicago The Fishguy, it's located on Elston just north of Montrose a little east of the Kennedy. The run a wholesale operation out of the back so there is a lot of turnover. They're very helpful and will tell you when fish has come in. The prices are very competative.

I would ask them which scallops are fresher. If the bay scallops are just make the recipe with them. I had some great ones from Nantucket a couple of weeks ago.

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A sweet scallop smell. Tomorrow maybe, the day after for sure, they'll be over the edge. If you buy seafood when it's really fresh it has no character. If so, let the character develop in your fridge until it arrives.

Do you really think that's true for scallops? I'm not so sure. I had some that were no more than ten minutes out of the water on the Isle of Mull off Scotland last year, and they were beyond stupendous. Deep fried, of course. It's Scotland, after all.

Adam

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In total agreement with Adam, here. But maybe it's a Scottish thing. I watched the divers go down into Loch Eriboll for the scallops last spring and ate them an hour or so later. Nothing fancy, but not deep-fried either (English on holiday on the north coast). Unbelievably good.

clb

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so im getting a lb of 10-12 scallops from Fox and Obel at $17/lb - they are peruvian scallops and are vacuum wrapped - not sitting in any milky stuff-just their own juices...

ill keep ya posted, thanks for all the info guys!

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How cool is it that Nick #2 has a friend. who is a fisherman, named Mutton? Mutton. go figure.

I can be a witness that fake scallops cut from skate was a method practiced by a well known mini-chain ( three NYC restaurants) in 1987. if anyone remembers Squid Roe,( 77th and 3rd) The something Crab ( 96th and third) and I forget the other. Was a manager there for a very LOOOONNGGG two months in 1987. They would just cover the fakes in chopped parsley.

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Do you really think that's true for scallops?

Yes. If they're to be cooked they should attain a certain degree of "ripeness." It develops a flavor that is lacking in a fresh scallop. I should add that we never deep fry scallops as it tends to diminish the flavor of the scallop. Really fresh scallops are best appreciated raw.

Kim - Mutton is short for Muttonchops. Twenty or thirty years ago it was the custom here for young fishermen to get tagged with "nicknames." Hence, we also have among others - Spider, Reverend, Animal, Biscuit, Fingers, Turtle, Shag, Bimbo, Bugler, etc.

Unfortunately, Bugler just passed on. No one could shuck scallops better or party harder. I've never, in over thirty five years of guitar playing, played with anyone that had a singing voice so powerful and always on key. Into the wee hours of the morning, partying and playing in a kitchen, Bugler would never lose pitch, even though by then he might have broken all but two strings on his flatop. And when Gloria, his wife, would join him in harmony - it was glorious. If a couple of their daughters joined in it was heaven. And if Georgie, son-in-law, was there with his fiddle and we were playing blues.........it didn't get any better.

Georgie bought it maybe ten years ago when he got wrapped up in the shaft on his lobster boat. Took two lobster boats loaded with friends out to the fishing grounds where he used to catch shark, and Bugler and I played guitars in the stern while others sang and read home-written poetry as his ashes were spread on the water along with yellow roses. I'll never forget those yellow roses floating on the water as the swells came and went.

Run on for awhile, haven't I? Figured I try to pass on a little from the Maine coast that few get to know.

Edited by Nickn (log)
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  • 2 months later...

My wife and I rented an apartment in paris with a small kitchen a year and a half ago. I went to one of the markets in the 5th or 6th (Maubert?) and we were able to buy live scallops and live langoustines at pretty reasonable prices (<$10/lb?). You can't help but wash the scallops bit because there was sand in them and you have to remove the guts and slime. After cleaning, we just panfried the scallops together with the coral in butter and a little salt. We steamed the langoustines. We ate them with a fresh baguette, some lemon and a bottle of wine. I had never had live scallops before this and it was really a fantastic simple meal.

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