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December 4, 2014

Baked Scallops on Shell

scallopsRoxas City is the Seafood Capital of the Philippines. I love it when friends come home from there because I can order the best and freshest seafood. My favorites to order are scallops and mud crabs. If you don’t have access to someone going to Roxas City, you can sometimes find frozen scallops in the grocery. For fresh scallops, try the Baclaran Seafood Market.

Scallops on Shell cooked over a charcoal grill by the beach evoke memories of sunny summer days. The charcoal lends a smoky nuance to scallops. This is not always possible if you live in a condominium, so this recipe will use an oven as a heat source.

Restaurants will generally serve scallops without the orange roe sac. It’s my favorite part, so I leave these on when I cook them. Some people find the roe’s texture grainy so it’s usually removed. If your guests are finicky, you can remove them and stir-fry them in butter. It becomes an instant second dish. It’s up to you if you’ll serve them to your guests or cook it the next day for some private indulgence.

The scallop meat is connected to the shell by a thick muscle. As this muscle is tougher than the surrounding meat, it can be removed.

Although I’ve tried scallops cooked with margarine, butter is best. The margarine’s taste tends to overpower the scallops. Butter is subtle and enhances the scallops’ taste.

The final product’s look depends on the type of cheese used. Quick melt cheese puts a gooey film, while Parmesan slightly changes color.

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 scallops with shell, if the scallops are small, use 24 pieces
  • 113 grams (24 teaspoons) butter
  • 100 grams grated Parmesan cheese or quick melt cheese
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Fine sea salt to taste

PROCEDURE

  1. Preheat oven to 250ºC (475ºF).scallops2
  2. Peel and finely chop garlic cloves.
  3. Prepare garlic butter. In a small frying pan, heat all the butter until melted. Add chopped garlic. Sauté garlic for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  4. Remove scallop from shell and remove unwanted parts. Using a knife, remove the scallop from the shell. Remove the hard muscle attaching the scallop to shell if desired. If needed, also remove the roe and set aside to stir-fry in butter.
  5. Clean scallop shells. Rinse shells in clean water and pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange shells on a baking tray.
  6. Arrange scallops on shell. Distribute scallop meat on shells. You want 1-2 pieces scallop meat, depending on the size, per shell.
  7. Mix garlic butter thoroughly. Get 1 teaspoon of the mixture and spoon this over one scallop. Repeat this step until all scallops in shell have 1 teaspoon of garlic butter.
  8. Sprinkle each scallop with a bit of cheese.
  9. If desired, sprinkle a touch of salt over each scallop.
  10.  Place tray with scallops in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has changed. If you used quick melt cheese, it will look gooey, while Parmesan cheese shouldn’t look too different. The butter will brown up, so you’ll know it’s done. If 15 minutes have passed and there’s no visible change, just take it out of the oven. You want the scallops cooked, but not dried out.
  11.  Serve immediately.
  12.  If desired, put lemon slices on the side for those who want to temper the seafood flavor. For those who want to enhance it, a dash of your favorite hot sauce over the scallop adds a great zing to the dish.

 

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