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FL.Cook's picture

Scallops (post #37673)

Picked up some dry packed scallops at WF yesterday for $11.99 a lb. Up from the $10.50 a lb last month, but still a good deal. Really beautiful, and the last batch were wonderful

Carole

Carole
Marcia's picture

(post #37673, reply #1 of 49)

I had diver scallops, grilled, in a restaurant on Saturday. They were just spectacular. I love good scallops and the price you found is still good, as you say. Enjoy.

Lee's picture

(post #37673, reply #2 of 49)

That's a great price.  They're usually around $20 a pound at my WF.

whatscooking's picture

(post #37673, reply #6 of 49)

They were on sale this weekend at the Chicago WFs too.  But not the really jumbo ones (u-10s,) they were the 10-20 ct per lb ones which is still a good size.

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain

http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain
http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/

sanderson's picture

(post #37673, reply #7 of 49)

All this talk here about scallops made me order some at a restaurant up the road. It's a cool place; they filmed part of Public Enemy there. However, the scallops were lame; small, wet and their only flavor was that of the over abundance of stale paprika sprinkled on top. The menu said seared...I think it was a typo and they meant scared. Sheesh

soupereasy's picture

(post #37673, reply #8 of 49)

Which is the reason for not ordering them out, especially at an unknown place! ;)

Lee's picture

(post #37673, reply #9 of 49)

Well shoot.  I didn't go to WF this weekend or I would have bought them.

soupereasy's picture

(post #37673, reply #3 of 49)

@ how many per lb? I assume these are sea scallops.

FL.Cook's picture

(post #37673, reply #4 of 49)

I didn't count, but I bought two pounds which is enough for two meals for two of us. They were wonderful. The big difference between the dry scallops vs the wet, is they sear so beautifully. Yes, they are sea scallops.

Carole

Carole
soupereasy's picture

(post #37673, reply #5 of 49)

Dry is the only way to go! ;)

Gretchen's picture

(post #37673, reply #10 of 49)

It's fine if that is what you can get.  Weighting them between towels to get the liquid out does help.

Gretchen

Gretchen
thecooktoo's picture

(post #37673, reply #11 of 49)

I buy the large ones at Sams Club frequently and use them for a Smoked Scallop Appetizer that I do...so they don't have to be seared.  But if I am doing a recipe that requires searing, I just do you do...I put them between two towels and put a little weight on them to press out as much water as possible. 


They sear fine after that.


Jim

Gretchen's picture

(post #37673, reply #12 of 49)

I don't really think they know whether they are "dry" or not.  ;o)


I might try that with my shrimp method--putting them in a foil pan with lots of holes, light the grill, and then light a bed of rosemary branches on top. Put the pan on it and cook.


Gretchen


Edited 7/14/2009 11:51 am ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
Fledge's picture

(post #37673, reply #19 of 49)

May I have your recipe for that please?


You don't scare me


I have an African Grey

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

mireillec's picture

(post #37673, reply #20 of 49)

I'm ignorant about the dry/wet scallops.
How do I identify them before buying some?

Gretchen's picture

(post #37673, reply #21 of 49)

They should be labelled as "dry".  Otherwise they have a preservative liquid.

Gretchen

Gretchen
mireillec's picture

(post #37673, reply #23 of 49)

Thank you Gretchen & Lee

Lee's picture

(post #37673, reply #22 of 49)

Scallops are highly perishable.  "Wet" scallops have been soaked in a a type of preserving solution to increase their shelf life.  Unfortunately, it results in soggy scallops that shed lots of liquid when they hit the pan, and they end up steaming instead of browning.  It also affects their natural sweet flavor.  "Dry packed" scallops have not been soaked, brown beautifully when you put them in the pan and their flavor isn't compromised.  Obviously, since they have a shorter shelf life, they are more expensive.


The best way to know for sure is to ask your fishmonger, but if the scallops are sitting in liquid, it's a good bet that they aren't dry pack.    

leonap's picture

(post #37673, reply #24 of 49)

Y'all might be interested in Thomas Keller's Caramelized Sea Scallop recipe. He brines them for 10 minutes first. Maybe his next step of sandwiching between paper towels in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 to 3 hours would help with the wet scallops?

http://www.foodgal.com/2009/07/preview-iii-ad-hocs-caramelized-sea-scallops/

TracyK's picture

(post #37673, reply #25 of 49)

"Wet" scallops have been soaked in a a type of preserving solution to increase their shelf life.  Unfortunately, it results in soggy scallops that shed lots of liquid when they hit the pan, and they end up steaming instead of browning.  It also affects their natural sweet flavor.


I'll say this again for the benefit of the folks who either can't get dry-packed scallops, or who aren't willing to pay the price for them (like me).


I have never bought dry-packed scallops in my life, in fact I usually buy them frozen from Trader Joe's, and on the occasion that I've wanted to sear them I've had no problem getting a nice browned sear (weighting down between several layers of paper towels is key). They not soggy, and they are still sweet and delicious.


I'm sure the dry scallops are lovely, but as with most things it is not always possible to have the creme de la creme, and the wet-packed scallops are delicious if properly treated.


 



"Attend to the details. Teach your children manners. Write cogent paragraphs. Drive carefully. And make a good potato salad, one with some crunch, maybe accompanied by a fried drumstick with crackly skin -- the humble potato and the stupid chicken, ennobled by diligent cooking -- and is this not the meaning of our beautiful country, to take what is common and enable it to become beautiful?"

                                                            -- Garrison Keillor

cookie's picture

(post #37673, reply #26 of 49)

I'm with Tracy on this one.  I buy frozen from Costco, and the ingredient list only says scallops.  I do the paper towel thing and they sear just fine.  I've only ever seen "dry" scallops at one store, and that was only one time.


Mimi

Gretchen's picture

(post #37673, reply #27 of 49)

Agreed. Several have mentioned it. ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
Marcia's picture

(post #37673, reply #28 of 49)

I buy the frozen scallops from Costco like Cookie and they work nicely with your towel treatment. They are large and the only ingredient is scallops.

Lee's picture

(post #37673, reply #29 of 49)

I'm glad that you're happy with what you've been buying, but you're paying for the weight of the preservative that's been absorbed which you then make an effort to remove from the scallops.  I've never bought frozen scallops, which I grant you are probably fresher than those that are shipped unfrozen, but my own experiences with wet pack haven't been great.  In addition to the excess liquid, I find a difference in the texture and the flavor.  At $18 and up a pound, dry pack are expensive, which is why I don't buy them often, but I think they're worth the added price when I do.


As DH says, that's why Baskin robbins has 31 flavors. ;0)

TracyK's picture

(post #37673, reply #31 of 49)

Lee, if you're happy with the dry scallops then by all means continue purchasing them, I promise I'm not trying to convince you otherwise. And of course the fresh dry scallops are probably some degree better than frozen, like fresh crab is better than pasteurized crab, like fresh lobster is better than frozen lobster, etc.


It's just that the way this thread is worded one would think it's impossible to get an edible scallop unless you can a) find the dry-pack kind (not an easy feat for probably 75-80% of the population) and b) pay the high price, and that is simply not true.


You say yourself that you've never bought frozen scallops, so how can you be so quick to discount them? Maybe the frozen ones are not treated with the same solution as the "fresh" wet-packed kind? Maybe they're just glazed with saltwater and flash-frozen at sea, like shrimp? Maybe the frozen kind are actually a better option for most people, given the lack of availability of the fresh dry kind?


Either way, my chief point is that it is still possible to get a good or even great meal of scallops at a reasonable price. Last time I bought them at TJ's I think I paid $11 for a 2-lb bag.



"Attend to the details. Teach your children manners. Write cogent paragraphs. Drive carefully. And make a good potato salad, one with some crunch, maybe accompanied by a fried drumstick with crackly skin -- the humble potato and the stupid chicken, ennobled by diligent cooking -- and is this not the meaning of our beautiful country, to take what is common and enable it to become beautiful?"

                                                            -- Garrison Keillor


Edited 7/17/2009 12:19 pm ET by TracyK

Lee's picture

(post #37673, reply #32 of 49)

Really, I'm not arguing with you.  I was just giving the poster the generally accepted rationale which I have found to be accurate.


I don't normally buy frozen or previously frozen fish or seafood, other than shrimp and tuna, but I may try TJ's frozen scallops.  Who knows, I may actually learn something.  ;0) 

TracyK's picture

(post #37673, reply #33 of 49)

But it's only accurate in how it applies to "fresh" scallops. As Risottogirl has pointed out, lots of frozen scallops are not treated with preservative chemicals... which possibly explains why I've had consistently excellent results with them. :)


"Attend to the details. Teach your children manners. Write cogent paragraphs. Drive carefully. And make a good potato salad, one with some crunch, maybe accompanied by a fried drumstick with crackly skin -- the humble potato and the stupid chicken, ennobled by diligent cooking -- and is this not the meaning of our beautiful country, to take what is common and enable it to become beautiful?"

                                                            -- Garrison Keillor

Risottogirl's picture

(post #37673, reply #30 of 49)

And I'll say it again :) frozen scallops are not necessarily treated with chemicals as "wet" packed scallops are. Most are simply flash frozen. Frozen seafood, particularly scallops, can be watery when thawed.


I can easily get reasonably priced, very fresh, "dry" scallops around here so that is what I usually buy. However, I have used frozen from Costo and possibly from TJs (can't recall for certain) and they worked fine with the pressing treatment TracyK suggests. I do not think that pressing works nearly as well with scallops that have actually been treated with checmicals (wet).



Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay



Edited 7/17/2009 12:40 pm ET by Risottogirl

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #37673, reply #40 of 49)

I normally agree with you, but in this case you have your head up the wrong place.  Before you comment you need to try both.

TracyK's picture

(post #37673, reply #41 of 49)

If you're buying, I'm happy to cook them.



"Attend to the details. Teach your children manners. Write cogent paragraphs. Drive carefully. And make a good potato salad, one with some crunch, maybe accompanied by a fried drumstick with crackly skin -- the humble potato and the stupid chicken, ennobled by diligent cooking -- and is this not the meaning of our beautiful country, to take what is common and enable it to become beautiful?"

                                                            -- Garrison Keillor

FL.Cook's picture

(post #37673, reply #14 of 49)

It helps, plus I also put the dry ones between paper towels, but they do not get the beautiful sear on them that the dry ones get.

Carole

Carole