I remember back decades ago, when bay scallops cost more than sea scallops It has reversed, now, and today the bay scallops were on sale. Mind you, these were large bay scallops — I’d say about 1/2 inch diameter in the best of the cases prior to cooking. It is really easy to over cook bay scallops because most of them are so small.
Well, the price was right, so I took the plunge!
* 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon oil total — I used about half and half of avocado oil and a pat of grass-fed butter (even if I am hard-pressed to find a mouth on the butter so it can consume grass or anything… but you know what I mean… ;) )
* 1 large shallot, diced
* 5 ounces, approximately, button mushrooms, chopped or broken up coarsely
* 3 ounces, approximately, snow peas, broken in half and any bad bits removed
* 1/2 pound bay scallops, as large as is available.
* Ground lemon pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon
* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (NOT the sushi rice vinegar, which has sugar and other unnecessary stuff.)
* 1/16 – 1/8 teaspoon or less of red pepper flakes (optional). I rather like a mild kick with this idea.
* 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon thyme
* 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon savory (or you could use tarragon, as supermarkets no longer seem to carry savory. Or you could buy it from Penzey’s, as I did…)
* salt to taste — I suggest a pinch
Heat the butter/oil in a skillet until everything is toasty hot, over medium heat.
Add in the shallot and mushrooms. Saute until shallot is translucent and the mushrooms are cooked.
Add the snow peas and everything else except the scallops, thyme and savory. Mix around to get everything cooking, for about 2 minutes.
Add the scallops, and cook another 2.5 – 3 minutes, stirring often, and I lean towards 3 minutes. (If you have 1/4 inch diameter scallops, reduce the cooking time to account for that.) You want the scallops white, not translucent, on all sides. You don’t want them dried-out, either.
Add the thyme and savory, mix around another thirty seconds, plate and serve. I’m thinking a light salad with shreds of cabbage, grape tomatoes, and a simple vinaigrette would be a great accompanying dish.
You could adapt this to sea scallops. I’d break up the sea scallops into quarters, so that aesthetically it fits better with the size of the other items in this dish. To truly bring out the sea scallop intensity, I’d probably pan-sear them whole (an extra step, but when you are paying that much more for them…), and only break them up when it is time to serve. Oh, and yes, with sea scallops, my button mushrooms would probably transform themselves into shiitake.