Those Beautiful Bivalves…..

I can’t emphasis it enough.  White fish is GP friendly for me, a great source of protein and a quick easy dinner.  The other night I made Pan Seared Sea Scallops.  They came from the freezer section at Trader Joe’s.  I generally buy my fish fresh at the fish market but it’s nice to have a bag of sea scallops in the freezer…they defrost quickly and are ready when you are.  Each 16 ounce bag has 4 modest servings at 19 grams of protein each.  According to http://www.whfoods.com they are also a very good source of Vitamin B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids as well as a good source of magnesium and potassium.

When you buy your scallops, you may notice two kind: wet and dry.  “Wet” scallops are treated with phosphates – a preservative.  When scallops are soaked in phosphates they absorb more water causing them to weigh more.  The excess moisture evaporates during cooking not allowing them to brown properly and the scallops shrink.  Generally speaking treated scallops are snow white in color.   “Dry” scallops are wild, natural scallops that have not been treated after harvesting.  They are vanilla colored and caramelize better during cooking.  Because they aren’t carrying any extra “water weight” they always cost more than “wet” scallops.

Scallops sometimes come with a tough muscle attached.  A local chef I worked with referred to this tough little piece as the “sneaker” because it’s like chewing on the sole of a sneaker if it’s not removed before cooking.  If your scallops are still wearing their “sneakers” remove them before continuing.  I’m a seafood purist and enjoy the scallop’s delicate flavor so this is the simplest way possible to prepare scallops.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops

Serves 4 modestly…2 nomally

16 ounces sea scallops (tough muscle removed)

Seasoning of your choice: onion powder, garlic powder, etc

salt and pepper – to taste

Fresh lemon

no stick cooking spray

Preheat a large, sprayed  non stick saute pan over medium high heat.  Meanwhile, dry scallops with a paper towel.  Season as desired.  Place scallops in hot pan (without crowding the pan) and sear 2-3 minutes on each side or until the centers are opaque. Squeeze some lemon over scallops in the last minute of cooking if desired.  Alternatively, scallops can be broiled.  Follow pan searing instructions and times.


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