I’m not sure but I think the excessive heat we’ve had the last two days has impaired my ability to successfully put a meal together. I didn’t even attempt it on Monday night (we ordered a pizza), but since Mike had installed the air conditioner, I figured I’d give it a shot last night. After all, we had a package of Bomster Scallops thawed in the fridge, and I was anxious to see what the fuss is all about. I figured they’d be a good option for a quick dinner anyway, as scallops really take just minutes to cook, and they wouldn’t heat up the kitchen too much.
I decided rather than searing the scallops, I’d give them a brief soak in buttermilk before coating them in cornmeal. The first problem I encountered is that our buttermilk had frozen in the back of the fridge (as did our crème fraiche, which is why the lemon-savory cream I planned to serve with the scallops didn’t materialize – strike two).
I pressed forward, figuring the buttermilk slush would re-liquefy soon enough (it did). But then I used the wrong pan. Now, you all know how much I love our cast iron skillet, and I use it for darn near everything, but the thing just got too nuclear hot for these scallops – my first batch stuck to the pan, leaving charred cornmeal in the bottom, the scallops still raw.
I quickly grabbed our nonstick pan and got that heating for the next batch, and it worked better, though the crust itself was pretty unsuccessful – the scallops gave off so much liquid after I pulled them out of the pan that the crust was soggy by the time I plated. They were tasty, but not at all what I had intended.
I was more successful with the accompaniments – black rice cooked with shallot and lots of fresh summer savory (already chopped for the lemon-savory cream that was not to be), and blanched shaved asparagus, all dressed with a healthy squeeze of lemon juice. It was light and fresh tasting, not to mention lovely to look at, and I’ll likely revisit the combination in the future. I’m betting it would be great with a poached egg on top.
I wouldn’t call this meal a complete disaster, but it was disappointing. The scallops themselves were, as advertised, really delicious, and I look forward to picking up more at the farmers’ market this weekend and giving them another go next week. But I’ll skip the cornmeal crust.