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Spicing Up Scallops

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I make a scallop dish by browning up scallops in a pan with butter, then adding crushed pineapple and reducing all this into a glaze. When I made it a very delicious taste was achieved, however it was somewhat bland. Can anyone give me any tips on spicing up my food? Thanks,:)
post #2 of 11
I suggest some sweet chili sauce. Or maybe some a touch of jalapeno, serrano or habanero, just make sure to mince it REALLY well. Best of luck.
post #3 of 11
I would add some cayenne pepper - just a pinch, as a little goes a long way. I like to taste the scallop, they are sweet enough.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #4 of 11
Oddly enough I had a couple of sea scallops as part of dinner tonight, just simply seared in a bit of bacon fat.

With your pineapple glaze, you might want to try adding a bit of brown sugar, soy sauce and some rice wine vinegar, or cider vinegar, for a sweet and sour approach. Or maybe some ground allspice and chili powder for a caribbean flair.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #5 of 11
You might try dusting the scallops with a little garam masala before searing. As to the sauce, add a little ginger and finish at the end with some fresh mint or cilantro.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok, all these suggestions sound delicious. I especially like teamfat's idea, I'll try that.:lips:
post #7 of 11
You want to watch the timing, too. While cooking down the glaze it's easy to overcook the scallops. They should be barely opaque all the way through, is all.

To kick your recipe up a notch, try this: dip each flat edge of the scallop into Thai sweet chili sauce, then into finely crushed gingersnaps. Sear quickly on all sides---which should be enough to cook them through. Set aside to keep warm.

Prepare your pineapple glaze. Return scallops to the pan to heat through and absorb some of the pineapple flavor. Serve immediately.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 11
That is a great suggestion. I was going to suggest a curry paste of sorts. Like a GM or perhaps vindaloo.
post #9 of 11
I'd have gone with one of the various cajun spice mixes. some heat and some herbal support which happens to go well with seafood.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Last time I cooked these scallops I thought they had a very good texture, flakey but just a little chewy. Even though the chewiness may be a sign of overcooking I still like the texture it gives.
post #11 of 11
I don't serve scallops as "the main course" - I use them as a tasty "side" dish or second chunk of goodies with <something else> - typically a baked/fried fish or perhaps beer battered shrimp feast.

the point being in such situations I actually prefer to 'keep' their own flavor per se and just 'season' the meat. my approach is:

lightly salt with sea/kosher salt - big crystals not fine stuff.
sear the flat sides to get a real nice crust - not browned, not burnt, but a crispy thin crust
I used browned butter to do this - melt the butter increase the heat until it is browned and nutty. caution: burnt butter is doable and very untasty.....
I use a heavy bottom pan and high heat but physically move the pan on and off the flame to control the temp.

achieving a nice thin crispy crust is a leap of faith in terms of "holy cow how hot does this pan have to be?" plus a delicate dance of timing temperature; experience beneficial - so don't try as a do-or-die first ever attempt for your boss. if I have more than two pan batches, I'll probably toss the spent browned butter, wipe out and start with a fresh batch of butter.

when crisped to my satisfaction, remove and while still hot re-season with fresh ground black pepper and (I use) Old Bay Seasoning - just the right bite to it and it _is_ a crustacean <g>

when the batch is crisped, deglaze pan - a dry white wine does nicely, but I've used water as well. make a thin pan sauce balsamic vinegar is a nice touch - and remove from pan and reserve sauce.

put scallops back in the the dry cooled pan with a dab of oil to finish cooking - which depending on thickness may not be more than 1-2 minutes. do not cover. I find this technique works best when the scallops are not two foot thick - something more along the 1-1.5 inch thickness lines is ideal.

spoon a bit of pan sauce when served. if you're in a wild & crazy mood, garnish with chopped chive / curly parsley.
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