Scalloping for Your Dinner
I’ll never forget the first time I had a fresh bay scallop fresh out of the bay, right off the coast of Orient Point in Hallock’s Bay. It was an autumn day at low tide and we were clamming until I came upon a beautiful scallop shell by accident. I went out with my friend who is a serious fisherman and clam/scalloper. I tasted my first North Fork bay scallop naked, right from the shell. It was briny and sweet, even creamy, as it went down. It was one of the most amazing things I ever tasted.
For those of you who don’t prefer raw seafood or might not want to make a meal of it, you may appreciate this recipe for scallops with mushrooms that you can cook in any kitchen, despite the size or circumstances. Condiments and accompaniments in small quantities is all you need. Serve with this cucumber-herb salad and add some roasted potatoes or brown rice for a heartier meal.
When planning your scalloping excursion for fresh scallops, this year scallop season runs from November 7th to around March 13th and you can take a charter from right here on the North Fork!
1 ½ lb. bay scallops or large fresh sea scallops (depending on where you are scalloping)
A small box of shiitake mushrooms
2 medium shallots
One tablespoon of vegetable oil
A drizzle of Truffle Oil
Kosher salt to taste.
If you are on an excursion and cooking in an outdoor setting or traveling for the holidays, you can carry salt, pepper, chili flakes and other dry herbs separate in the compartments of a vitamin carrier.
Cucumber-Herb Salad Ingredients:
Make your salad first and refrigerate.
2 whole English cucumbers, halved and sliced
1/2 cup whole mint leaves
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 long red chili, seeds removed, thinly sliced or 1/8 teaspoon of chili flakes
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tb of vegetable oil
salt to taste
Slice and place all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Have your other side dishes ready ahead of time.
Scallop Preparation: cooking time is from 7 to 10 minutes so begin cooking when you are going to serve them.
Pat scallops dry. Heat a sauce pan with vegetable oil. Add shallots and shiitake mushrooms, then sauté. Add salt and drizzle of white truffle oil. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of white wine, reduce and set aside. Be careful to not overcook them. They should be slightly transparent in the center and they will continue cooking even after you take them off the flame.
Plating: Place some fresh herbs or salad at the bottom of a platter for garnish. Spoon the scallop mixture onto the platter. Serve with your side dishes.
Note for cooking in the outdoors or galley cooking: Mushrooms, shallots/onions, mint leaves, cucumbers and the other ingredients keep well without refrigeration as long as they are kept whole (do not peel or preslice) and dry. Truffle oil can be carried in a small spray bottle for spritzing and white wine and vinegar in flasks.