I know you've all been waiting with baited breath for the rest of the fish story (get it? BAITed? Oh, whatever...).
So I get home with the scallops in hand. SEA scallops by the way, for those of you who needed to know. As far as I know, there are no free range scallops. So on to the cooking...
Since I realized that 1 pound of SEA scallops is more than 1 frying pan can handle, I decided to take the experiment a step further...TWO types of preparation techniques. TWO pans, folks... don't try this at home! Leave to us folks that have had our Hepititis A shot recently.
So, TWO frying pans. ONE pound of scallops. Still with me?
In Pan #1, I put olive oil, a pressed garlic clove, 1/4 stick of butter (REAL butter, mind you), some green onion, white wine vinegar and lemon juice. Don't ask me measurements...I was in an Emerill mood, yelling "BAM!" and "BOOM!" and lots of cursing (kid-friendly of course).
In Pan #2, I put olive oil, a pressed garlic clove, 1/4 stick of butter, some green onion, (my creativeness only goes so far!), some of the white wine that we had with dinner (Chardonnay for you keeping score at home). Now for the little critters...
Did I mention the flour? Yoda told me to dry the scallops a tad and roll them in flour, so I did that and lovingly put them in the pans. I forgot the "start with the handle" thing, so I backtracked and put them in the right order. They kept pushing and shoving to move to the front of the line, so I had to knock some scallop heads. I also wasn't sure where the inevitable "leftover ones that had to go in the middle" were in the pecking order. Cooking is so complicated!
They cooked. I flipped. I drank some wine. I flipped. They cooked. I drank more wine. Etc., etc., etc. When the heavens parted and Neptune, King of the Sea Scallops cried, "THE SCALLOPS ARE DONE NOW", I took them out of the pan and served them. We had some stir-fried veggies on the side, by the way.
Like any good experimentor, I separated the Pan #1 and #2 results (and gave Junior all the broken apart scallops pieces, since we were fairly sure he wouldn't like them) and taste-tested.
And the winner was.....drumroll, please...Pan #1.
From our post-dinner analysis with John Madden, we decided that since Pan #1 had less liquid (read: wine), the garlic stuck a bit more to the scallops and gave them a bolder flavor. The ones with the wine were just a little wimpy tasting.
And with the luck of a first time seafood-cooker (and guidance from my buddy Neptune), I cooked them for just the right amount of time. They were nice and juicy and not dry at all. Of course, we kept looking at their inside middles as if they would be pink if not cooked, like chicken. Unfortunatley, scallops have no "tell" like chicken does. If pressed, I would tell you that I cooked them for the amount of time it takes me to drink one glass of wine. That's about the right cooking time.
And thus ends the Scallop Saga. But feel free to keep giving me your seafood tips and side dish ideas. I'm listening...