Scallop

Scallop

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

A shellfish known by its French name, coquille St Jacques, belonging to a group of bivalve molluscs, the most familiar species having scalloped, fan-shaped shells that are both beautiful and symbolic. The exquisite scallop design has been used in paintings through the ages (notably Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus). The shell has long been a symbol of Christianity and a badge of pilgrims.

Scallops are usually purchased shucked or split, the edible flesh (white adductor muscle and orange coral or roe) removed from the shells. They can be bought fresh or frozen and usually require little preparation, except the removal of any small brown parts that may be left after cleaning.

Scallops have a delicate, subtle flavour, admirably suited to simple dishes. They should be cooked for short periods only and can be baked, poached, grilled (broiled) or fried in many ways. Whichever way you choose, don’t overcook or reheat them too long or they will shrink and toughen. When scallops are done they will be opaque with a slightly transparent centre.

Try scallops fried or baked in the oven in butter with chopped parsley, garlic and lemon juice, or sautéed and served with a little port and cream stirred in to make a sauce. Grill them with bacon, speared on a skewer, or roll them in breadcrumbs and fry in butter; use them in soups and chowders, or poach them lightly and serve in a white wine or vermouth sauce, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and browned under the grill (broiler).

Ingredients

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