Love Letter

Bomster scallops

Dear Bomster scallops:

I have tried and tried to do right by you. I’ve seared you and crusted you, chowdered you and grilled you, and I was beginning to think we just weren’t a good match. You don’t behave like those other scallops do. You’re different. Special. I’ve cooked a lot of scallops in my time, and I like to think I know what I’m doing, but I was starting to feel like you were just out of my league.

scallops+sea salt+olive oil

That fritto misto you were part of about a week ago gave me hope, though. You fried up beautifully with a light cloak of seasoned flour, finally revealing that soft interior everyone loves. But last night, we had a little one-on-one time – just you, me, and a warm olive oil bath – and it changed everything.

I hope it’s not too early to say this… but I think I’m falling for you. Let’s get together again soon.

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11 thoughts on “Love Letter

  1. I’m sure you be getting a love letter back 🙂 Wow. Yum.

    Ever tried poaching litlte potatoes in butter? It doesn’t bear thinking about, really, but it is delicious.

  2. Scallops intrigue me. I’ve never tried them but they look absolutely delicious. I think in a way I’m a little scared of them! Any tips on a first-timer cooking them?

  3. Jennifer Hess says:

    Hartley – Oh, this was incredibly easy. Just like I did with the cod previously, I nestled the scallops in a baking dish, salted them, covered them in olive oil and then put them in the oven at the lowest temperature until they were just cooked through. I think it took 15-20 minutes or so? The oven poaching is working really well for me – we don’t really have a low-heat burner on our stovetop, so it’s a good way to keep a consistent, low temperature to gently cook things.

    Marie – I have not tried that but now I very much want to!

    Katie – Well, after playing with various methods of cooking these particular scallops, I have to say poaching them was easy and probably foolproof 🙂 It really enhanced the buttery, creamy texture of the scallops. Searing is another classic prep, but you have to watch them very carefully, because you want to get a nice bit of caramelization on them without over cooking them. If you try it, let me know how you do!

  4. Dees is not Top Scallop!!! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself– I loved Fabio). 🙂

    “Good scallops” (to borrow a favorite phrase from Ina Garten) are usually out of our normal budget, but I am definitely going to suggest this method for the next time we make them. Our local fish market seems to always have scallops that look like this, and I love simple preparations that don’t overwhelm each scallop. Although I’m sure the husband will want to wield his culinary torch to sear them–perhaps I can propose a compromise…

  5. Jennifer Hess says:

    Lydia – I can’t believe it has taken me nearly a year for me to get the hang of cooking with them! Better late than never, and it’ll hopefully be smooth sailing for me and these scallops from here on out. 🙂

    Elizabeth – Ha ha! I’ll admit that made me laugh out loud (I also found myself totally charmed by Fabio). I think the poaching really enhanced the creaminess of the scallops, and let their flavor and texture really shine through. I’m looking forward to oil-poaching again and trying out different sides and sauces with them. The possibilities are endless!

  6. maris says:

    Hi Jennifer – I love scallops – these sound so great! How are Bomsters different than other scallops? I’m a novice!

  7. Camille says:

    Your oil poached cod & now the scallops made me drool!! I’m not familiar with Bomster scallops…are they like the Digby scallops from Nova Scotia? They appear to be the same. I would love to try this method of preparation. One question…what do you do with the oil after poaching? It seems such a waste to throw it out. As I’m sure some scallop juices leach into the oil, I don’t know how long it would keep unless it was frozen. I was thinking that it would be worth a try. Then it could be thawed & tossed with breadcrumbs to scatter over a Coquille St. Jacque or other seafood casserole??

  8. Jennifer Hess says:

    Hi maris – Bomsters are named for the family who harvest them, and they have a unique way of dealing with them once they get out of the water that really preserves their fresh, sweet flavor. There is a good article about it here.

    Camille – We did end up discarding the oil that was left here, but I love your idea of tossing it with a breadcrumb topping. I bet it would be great incorporated into a seafood stuffing, too. I’m going to have to experiment!

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