Some friends and I went to Bluestem this past Saturday and someone ordered scallops. I had never had a scallop, but they looked interesting, in a small white half-dollar pancake sorta way. I tried it...and I liked it! So I decided we must try cooking scallops at home.
I ventured forth to Hen House, since my local Price Chopper doesn't have much seafood. It does have good MEAT though. Yum. Anyhow, I found the seafood section, complete with fake fishing nets strung from the ceiling and fake seagull sounds which auto-repeated every few seconds. No, I'm not kidding folks. If I worked there, I would go mad from the "RAWK!" seagull sounds over and over and over and over and...well you get the picture.
So there's this 75-year-old dude working the seafood counter and so I quickly surveyed the scallops and confidentally proclaimed, "I'll take a pound of scallops, please". Later I would discover that a pound of scallops is a little much for 2 1/2 people.
As he scooped the scallops into a bag, I conversationally asked, "So...how do I know when they are done?"
He asked, "Howya cookin' 'em?" Hmmm....hadn't really thought that one over yet.
"Er...frying them, with some wine and garlic". Whew! Good answer, I think.
"WINE?!" he exclaimed. "Sweet or dry wine?" Uh-oh. What's the right answer here?
"Sweet?" Not so confident now.
"SWEET?!" Oops. Wrong answer. Dam!
"Well, don't put a lot of wine in there. Actually don't put it in until the end. Don't put a lot in. Or it will end up tasting like fruitcake!" Dude...just say not to use sweet wine. Don't fuck with me.
"Uh...okay" Just wanting to get the hell out now...and save my dignity. But I still needed an important bit of information.
"So do I cook them for a certain length of time?" C'mon old guy, throw me a bone here...
"Oh no...don't cook them for a period of time, just cook them until they are brown. Flip them every 20 seconds or so. Also, start at the handle of the frying pan and put them in a circle around the pan. That way you'll know which one needs to be flipped first." Ah! Persistance pays off! But Yoda was to impart some even juicier info...
"Roll them in flour" he said, "They'll brown up real nice and the flavors will hold better." Martha Stewart...watch out. I'm armed with scallop-cookin' gold now!
I thanked him 100 times or so and ran from the seagull sounds to buy my $16 worth of scallops.
(continued tomorrow... Sorry! I gotta work now...)