Back when I was a kid growing up in Maritime Canada, Clams and Chips were nearly as popular is Fish and Chips and, if you were in a restaurant that served both of these, it was generally a safe bet that you could get Scallops and Chips as well. That dish generally used the larger variety usually of scallop referred to as ‘Sea Scallops’, and even a half-dozen of these, along with chips and cole-slaw, made for a very filling meal. For today’s appetizer version, I am using the smaller ‘Bay Scallops’… as with the old-standby of Scallops and Chips, the scallops are battered but, here, I have jazzed things up a bit … Continue reading “Scallop Appetizer”
After trimming a bunch of gigantic scallops for another recipe, I had about the equivalent of two large scallops in little pieces and I decided to use them to make the above pictured little snack. I simply diced the pieces and did the same with a little green and red bell pepper, then stirred all this into two beaten eggs along with some salt and pepper and the ‘juice’ thrown off by the scallops.
After frying two small omelettes, I served them both drizzled with a little XO Sauce diluted with a little rice wine. It didn’t photograph up very prettily, I am afraid, but it sure was delicious ….
I put together this little dish to try out another use for some of the Scallion-Garlic Pesto I posted about recently. The pesto is actually quite flavorful and can be used at full strength with very bland ingredients (such as pasta), or else ingredients that are very strong tasting themselves, but for more delicately flavored items, especially white fish or shellfish, it is probably wise to tone down the scallion effect a little. For these scallops, I used a little the pesto as just the base for a creamy sauce. First, I melted a little butter in a small pan and then added the extra liquor from the scallops and a small splash of white wine. When the liquid was reduced I added couple of tablespoons of the pesto (the variety without cheese added) and then enough cream to make a nice sauce. As soon as the sauce was ready, I quickly grilled a couple of scallops (large ones cut into two pieces horizontally). I needed no seasonings here and as soon as the outside were seared with grill marks (leaving the center still slightly rare), I poured a little of the sauce into a dish, plated the scallops, and spooned some more sauce over the top. I garnished with a couple of strips of lemon zest and ate them right away. They were good J
I was experimenting with a dim sum dumpling filling that would normally be more associated with a variety fried in wheat starch dough rather than steamed in the Basic Wheat Flour Dough I’ve used here. The filling in question is composed of chopped scallop and chives with some light seasoning but that is all I am going to say about it here because, quite honestly, it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.
The reason I have featured this experiment today is the particular shape of the dumplings. While browsing recipes online I came across one for dumplings that were described as Shu Mai despite not having the usual ‘pleated purse’ shape. Possibly, purists might say these are not actually Shu Mai for that reason but they are ‘open-faced’, steamed, and use a flour wrapper so possible they still fit the general category.
Anyway, the end result is, I think, much prettier than the standard shape and is much more easily formed. One simply puts a dollop of the filling in the middle of a dough circle and then pinches each ‘corner’ causing the sides to come up around the middle. My readers might like to try it themselves with filling mixtures of their own creation or possibly with the more standard Shu Mai filling used in my Shu Mai with Pork and Shrimp…
A while ago, I tried a dish called ‘Scallop Xao Tuong’ at the Café Indochine Vietnamese Restaurant in Ottawa. It was described on the menu as being Scallops with Eggplant and Zucchini in a Fermented Black Bean Sauce and, while it was really delicious, I was a little disappointed in that there was almost no hint of black beans to give it the really rich umami flavor I was expecting. I also noted, in my review of the restaurant that, in addition to the eggplant and zucchini, there were all sorts of other vegetables included and that I felt the end-result was too ‘busy’.
I decided that I would try and improve upon the basic theme at home and my idea was to up the amount of salted black bean, replace the tiny bay scallops used by the restaurant with slices of large sea scallop, and keep the vegetable component to a much simpler minimum… Continue reading “Scallops with Salted Black Bean”
When I featured Chinese Preserved Pork-Belly in a recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post, I said that I planned to use some of it in a very common way by steaming it over rice. This dish, which permits of countless variations, is a very ‘homey’ sort of preparation and many people add the pork, along with other ingredients, to rice in electric steamers to make a quick, simple meal. I am using a clay-pot to steam my rice and I am departing from the more standard method by using pre-cooked rice, thus necessitating a fairly short cooking time. In addition to the pork, I will be adding some greens and other flavorful ingredients… Continue reading “Steamed Rice with Preserved Pork-Belly and Egg”
Drying various foodstuffs very much tends to concentrate their flavors and this is just as true with scallops as it is with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, or anything else you can care to name. Dried scallops, even more so than the fresh, are quite extensively used in Chinese cookery, particularly in Hong Kong and the southern coastal provinces, but I don’t see them much used in other cuisines, which is a bit of a shame, really, as they are a very useful ingredient. Certainly, anyone with an interest in cooking Chinese dishes will want to have a stock of these on hand but they are also well worth experimenting with in other culinary preparations as they pack a unique flavor punch that is truly exquisite… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Dried Scallops (Conpoy)”