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Default PSA: Wet scallops

I know most of you already know about brine- (or other fluid-)
injected or soaked scallops being crap, but I made the mistake one
last time this past week so thought I'd share..

I found some scallops really cheap at one of the local supermarkets.
Their cheapness is, of course, what convinced me to try them. And,
although they were advertised as bay scallops, these were considerably
larger than the bay scallops I usually see (which I buy regularly and
work nicely in soups, etc.), almost half the size of regular
scallops! And they weren't cut-out chunks of skate or whatever the
fake ones are made out of, either.

So I hoped that even if they had loads of water in them, I'd be able
to squash them in paper towels under a weight for an hour then throw
them into a really hot oiled pan to sear and I might get away with it.

Wrong.

They shrank to the size I would expect most bay scallops to be and
exuded so much liquid they boiled rather than seared, even after the
drying/squashing and even in a practically red hot skillet.

They tasted OK, on a bed of seared quartered baby bok choy, with a
miso/vinegar/mirin sauce (old Bon Appetit recipe), but they weren't
*SEARED* like I'd hoped.

So, lesson learned (finally, this time for sure, for me, uh-huh): Ask
your fishmonger about his scallops and whether or not they've been
brined/injected/whatever-liquid-added before you buy them. Avoid them
if so. Pay the big bucks for quality scallops.

Thus endeth the lesson.

--
Silvar Beitel
Doesn't wrestle with pigs
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Default PSA: Wet scallops

On Jan 17, 12:08 pm, Silvar Beitel > wrote:
> [snip tale of woe]
> So, lesson learned (finally, this time for sure, for me, uh-huh): Ask
> your fishmonger about his scallops and whether or not they've been
> brined/injected/whatever-liquid-added before you buy them. Avoid them
> if so. Pay the big bucks for quality scallops.
>
> Thus endeth the lesson.


This comes up now and then, the warning is always timely. You want
dry-packed scallops (and a reputable fishmonger who won't sell
products treated with STPP. That's sodium tripolyphosphate. It was
originally used as a preservative but then it turned out that it
enables the retention of significantly more water. This meant sellers
could pump up the little critters and charge scallop prices for
water. In the US at least, the use of STPP is regulated, labeling is
supposed to be required. As far as I know STPP doesn't have harmful
effects on your health, but as you describe, you can't get a proper
char/sear on the scallops because ordinary drying methods don't work
against the massive amounts that have been absorbed. On an actual
scallop meat per pound basis your cheap price is a ripoff. -aem
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Default PSA: Wet scallops

On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 12:08:44 -0800 (PST), Silvar Beitel
> wrote:

> on a bed of seared quartered baby bok choy, with a
>miso/vinegar/mirin sauce (old Bon Appetit recipe)


Would you please post that recipe? I have some baby bok choy I need
to use.

--
I love cooking with wine.
Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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Default PSA: Wet scallops

On Jan 17, 3:40 pm, sf > wrote:
> On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 12:08:44 -0800 (PST), Silvar Beitel
>
> > wrote:
> > on a bed of seared quartered baby bok choy, with a
> >miso/vinegar/mirin sauce (old Bon Appetit recipe)

>
> Would you please post that recipe? I have some baby bok choy I need
> to use.


Sure.

I guess it wasn't as old as I thought. I found it in the little
booklet of recipes you get when you resubscribe to Bon Appetit, so
assumed it was old, but it's from their May, 2009 issue:

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/qu..._choy_and_miso

I loved it. My wife did too, but not quite as much. Enjoy.

--
Silvar Beitel
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Default Wet scallops


"Silvar Beitel" > wrote in message
...
>I know most of you already know about brine- (or other fluid-)
> injected or soaked scallops being crap, but I made the mistake one
> last time this past week so thought I'd share..
>
> I found some scallops really cheap at one of the local supermarkets.
> Their cheapness is, of course, what convinced me to try them. And,
> although they were advertised as bay scallops, these were considerably
> larger than the bay scallops I usually see (which I buy regularly and
> work nicely in soups, etc.), almost half the size of regular
> scallops! And they weren't cut-out chunks of skate or whatever the
> fake ones are made out of, either.
>
> So I hoped that even if they had loads of water in them, I'd be able
> to squash them in paper towels under a weight for an hour then throw
> them into a really hot oiled pan to sear and I might get away with it.
>
> Wrong.
>
> They shrank to the size I would expect most bay scallops to be and
> exuded so much liquid they boiled rather than seared, even after the
> drying/squashing and even in a practically red hot skillet.
>
> They tasted OK, on a bed of seared quartered baby bok choy, with a
> miso/vinegar/mirin sauce (old Bon Appetit recipe), but they weren't
> *SEARED* like I'd hoped.
>
> So, lesson learned (finally, this time for sure, for me, uh-huh): Ask
> your fishmonger about his scallops and whether or not they've been
> brined/injected/whatever-liquid-added before you buy them. Avoid them
> if so. Pay the big bucks for quality scallops.
>
> Thus endeth the lesson.



Yep, frozen scallops, frozen shrimp, frozen anything even squid often
results in literally more water than food. It is a shame. They don't
inject the meat they place it in a vacuum chamber and suck out all the air
which draws the liquid into the meat. Trader Joes is the worst for this.
Their jumbo scallops cook down into a tiny spec of meat and a pint of water.
A total rip-off. There used to be laws about how much liquid could be sold
by weight but that was ages ago when we had something called consumer
protection.

Paul




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Default PSA: Wet scallops

On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 12:56:15 -0800 (PST), Silvar Beitel
> wrote:

>On Jan 17, 3:40 pm, sf > wrote:
>> On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 12:08:44 -0800 (PST), Silvar Beitel
>>
>> > wrote:
>> > on a bed of seared quartered baby bok choy, with a
>> >miso/vinegar/mirin sauce (old Bon Appetit recipe)

>>
>> Would you please post that recipe? I have some baby bok choy I need
>> to use.

>
>Sure.
>
>I guess it wasn't as old as I thought. I found it in the little
>booklet of recipes you get when you resubscribe to Bon Appetit, so
>assumed it was old, but it's from their May, 2009 issue:
>
>http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/qu..._choy_and_miso
>
>I loved it. My wife did too, but not quite as much. Enjoy.


Thanks, Silvar! I'm just looking at the dressing part. Do you think
your wife would have liked it better if you'd left out the miso?

--
I love cooking with wine.
Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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Default PSA: Wet scallops

On Jan 17, 7:02 pm, sf > wrote:

> >http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/qu.../seared_scallo...


> Thanks, Silvar! I'm just looking at the dressing part. Do you think
> your wife would have liked it better if you'd left out the miso?


No. She likes the flavor of miso (and so do I) - it would obviously
be a completely different dish (and not so good, IMHO) without it.

She was comparing it to dinner the night before, which, although also
rather pedestrian, she *really* liked. And incidently it used some
baby bok choy too:

It was:

1) Buffaloed chicken breast "steaks." Two large chicken breast
halves, each cut into two slabs ("steaks"), floured and salted and
peppered and then fried in a little oil until golden brown and
delicious (love it when Alton Brown says that :-) ) Melt 3 Tbsp
butter, mix in 3 Tbsp hot pepper sauce (Frank's - accept no
substitute!), and pour over/around chicken.

2) Mashed potatoes with bok choy and bleu cheese. 3 fist-sized
potatoes, boiled and mashed. While cooking, take 2 large baby bok
choys and slice them into shreds and steam them for a couple of
minutes. When the potatoes are ready (milk or stock added and
S&P'ed), stir in the bok choy, 1/3 cup of chopped scallions and 1/3
cup of diced (as best you can) bleu cheese. The bok choy could have
been any kind of crunchy cabbage-y vegetable - I had a big package of
it and, like you, still have some to use up.

3) Random vegetable to offset the colors of the other dishes, in this
case just steamed green beans (have a large package of those to get
through too! :-) ).

--
Silvar Beitel
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