Scallops - How to saute'?

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Scot, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. Scot

    Scot Guest

    How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking? I
    purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a strainer,
    then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green onions and a
    little garlic. When I put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water resulted and the
    scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?

    Thanks,
     
    Tags:


  2. "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking? I
    > purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a
    > strainer, then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green
    > onions and a little garlic. When I put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water
    > resulted and the scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    >
    >

    Since you dried them well before cooking, I'd have to say it was too many scallops for the size
    pan you used. As with any meat/fish/seafood, if you overcrowd the pan, they will stew in their
    own juices.
     
  3. On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 04:03:48 GMT, "Scot" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking? I
    >purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a strainer,
    >then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green onions and a
    >little garlic. When I put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water resulted and the
    >scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?
    >
    You want to start with 'dry' scallops. That means they haven't been soaked in phosphate to puff them
    up and add weight (moisture). You probably can't ever get dry scallops frozen.

    Rodney Myrvaagnes NYC J36 Gjo/a

    "Hawg Polo?" . . . "Hawg Polo"
     
  4. "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking? I
    > purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a
    > strainer, then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green
    > onions and a little garlic. When
    I
    > put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water resulted and
    the
    > scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    >
    One possibility is that the scallops had water added to them. There are wet (water and sodium-
    something or other added) and dry scallops. The wet scallops tend to have an off flavor and give off
    liquid when they are cooked. I don't know if this weight and suppossed shelf life enhancement is
    added to frozen scallops but it certainly is to fresh ones. Bought the water injected ones once by
    mistake, won't do that again.

    Jessica
     
  5. Katra

    Katra Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking?

    Gently. And thaw them first. :) Ah, nevermind, I see you did.

    > I purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a
    > strainer, then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green
    > onions and a little garlic. When I put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water
    > resulted and the scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?

    Not a hot enough pan? I tend to have the opposite problem. ;-)

    Treat scallops like shrimp. Hot and fast.

    >
    > Thanks,

    HTH?
    K.

    >
    >

    --
    Sprout the Mung Bean to reply...

    >,,<Cat's Haven Hobby Farm>,,<Katra at centurytel dot net>,,<
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  6. Katra

    Katra Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Wayne Boatwright <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > news:[email protected]:
    >
    > > How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking? I
    > > purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a
    > > strainer, then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green
    > > onions and a little garlic. When I put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water
    > > resulted and the scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > >
    > >
    > >
    >
    > Since you dried them well before cooking, I'd have to say it was too many scallops for the size
    > pan you used. As with any meat/fish/seafood, if you overcrowd the pan, they will stew in their
    > own juices.

    That too. :) Try a wok???

    --
    Sprout the Mung Bean to reply...

    >,,<Cat's Haven Hobby Farm>,,<Katra at centurytel dot net>,,<
    http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewSellersOtherItems&include=0&userid=katra
     
  7. Peter Aitken

    Peter Aitken Guest

    "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking? I
    > purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a
    > strainer, then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green
    > onions and a little garlic. When
    I
    > put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water resulted and
    the
    > scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    >

    Most important make sure that you get "dry" scallops. Many scallops are soaked in a phosphate (I
    think) solution during processing - this makes them last longer but also makes them absorb water
    with the results you described. Soaked scallops tend to be pure white while dry ones (they are not
    really dry, this is just the term for unsoaked scallops) tend to be more of an uneven off-
    white/ivory color. I would not be surprised if freezing also increases water retention. Bring them
    to room temp before cooking and pat them dry with paper towels. Heat your oil until quite hot but
    not super hot and add the scallops - enough so that there is plenty of space between them in the
    pan, single layer. Here's where there is no substitute for experience - just how hot the pan should
    be. Don;t stir them constantly but let them sit for a bit on each side.

    --
    Peter Aitken

    Remove the crap from my email address before using.
     
  8. Scot

    Scot Guest

    "Peter Aitken" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:SxsYb.14834$%[email protected]...
    > Most important make sure that you get "dry" scallops. Many scallops are soaked in a phosphate (I
    > think) solution during processing - this makes
    them
    > last longer but also makes them absorb water with the results you
    described.
    > Soaked scallops tend to be pure white while dry ones (they are not really dry, this is just the
    > term for unsoaked scallops) tend to be more of an uneven off-white/ivory color. I would not be
    > surprised if freezing also increases water retention. Bring them to room temp before cooking and
    > pat them dry with paper towels. Heat your oil until quite hot but not super
    hot
    > and add the scallops - enough so that there is plenty of space between
    them
    > in the pan, single layer. Here's where there is no substitute for experience - just how hot the
    > pan should be. Don;t stir them constantly
    but
    > let them sit for a bit on each side.
    >

    Okay, I purchased the "dry" scallops, and all is now well with the world. It worked perfectly.
    The big question I got slammed with is this: How is it possible to sauté the "non-dry"
    scallops successfully because they're approximately $10/lb while the "dry" scallops are nearly
    double at $18+/lb.?
     
  9. Peter Aitken

    Peter Aitken Guest

    "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Peter Aitken" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:SxsYb.14834$%[email protected]...
    > > Most important make sure that you get "dry" scallops. Many scallops are soaked in a phosphate (I
    > > think) solution during processing - this makes
    > them
    > > last longer but also makes them absorb water with the results you
    > described.
    > > Soaked scallops tend to be pure white while dry ones (they are not
    really
    > > dry, this is just the term for unsoaked scallops) tend to be more of an uneven off-white/ivory
    > > color. I would not be surprised if freezing also increases water retention. Bring them to room
    > > temp before cooking and
    pat
    > > them dry with paper towels. Heat your oil until quite hot but not super
    > hot
    > > and add the scallops - enough so that there is plenty of space between
    > them
    > > in the pan, single layer. Here's where there is no substitute for experience - just how hot the
    > > pan should be. Don;t stir them constantly
    > but
    > > let them sit for a bit on each side.
    > >
    >
    > Okay, I purchased the "dry" scallops, and all is now well with the world. It worked perfectly. The
    > big question I got slammed with is this: How is it possible to sauté the "non-dry" scallops
    > successfully because they're approximately $10/lb while the "dry" scallops are nearly double at
    $18+/lb.?
    >
    >

    Beats me. Perhaps this is an example of "you get what you pay for."

    --
    Peter Aitken

    Remove the crap from my email address before using.
     
  10. I have a recipe on how to deep fry scallops, which instructs to cover with milk, salt added....and
    let set a while.....drain well before breading. Could be maybe, that this would work!!!! And yes,
    there is a difference in consistency and taste....

    On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 04:03:48 GMT, "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking? I
    >purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a strainer,
    >then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green onions and a
    >little garlic. When I put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water resulted and the
    >scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?
    >
    >Thanks,
     
  11. On Wed, 18 Feb 2004 02:23:45 GMT, "Scot" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Peter Aitken" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:SxsYb.14834$%[email protected]...
    >> Most important make sure that you get "dry" scallops. Many scallops are soaked in a phosphate (I
    >> think) solution during processing - this makes
    >them
    >> last longer but also makes them absorb water with the results you
    >described.
    >> Soaked scallops tend to be pure white while dry ones (they are not really dry, this is just the
    >> term for unsoaked scallops) tend to be more of an uneven off-white/ivory color. I would not be
    >> surprised if freezing also increases water retention. Bring them to room temp before cooking and
    >> pat them dry with paper towels. Heat your oil until quite hot but not super
    >hot
    >> and add the scallops - enough so that there is plenty of space between
    >them
    >> in the pan, single layer. Here's where there is no substitute for experience - just how hot the
    >> pan should be. Don;t stir them constantly
    >but
    >> let them sit for a bit on each side.
    >>
    >
    >Okay, I purchased the "dry" scallops, and all is now well with the world. It worked perfectly. The
    >big question I got slammed with is this: How is it possible to sauté the "non-dry" scallops
    >successfully because they're approximately $10/lb while the "dry" scallops are nearly double at
    >$18+/lb.?
    >
    >
    Forget about it. The cheaper ones are charging for the water and the scallop. Just buy fewer of
    the dry ones.

    The dry ones can also be seared on a hot iron pan, making a nice brown crust on the faces and
    leaving them just warm inside. Yum. You can't do that with the soaked ones either.

    Rodney Myrvaagnes NYC J36 Gjo/a

    "Hawg Polo?" . . . "Hawg Polo"
     
  12. Katra

    Katra Guest

    In article <L4AYb.16283$%[email protected]>,
    "Peter Aitken" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > "Peter Aitken" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:SxsYb.14834$%[email protected]...
    > > > Most important make sure that you get "dry" scallops. Many scallops are soaked in a phosphate
    > > > (I think) solution during processing - this makes
    > > them
    > > > last longer but also makes them absorb water with the results you
    > > described.
    > > > Soaked scallops tend to be pure white while dry ones (they are not
    > really
    > > > dry, this is just the term for unsoaked scallops) tend to be more of an uneven off-white/ivory
    > > > color. I would not be surprised if freezing also increases water retention. Bring them to room
    > > > temp before cooking and
    > pat
    > > > them dry with paper towels. Heat your oil until quite hot but not super
    > > hot
    > > > and add the scallops - enough so that there is plenty of space between
    > > them
    > > > in the pan, single layer. Here's where there is no substitute for experience - just how hot
    > > > the pan should be. Don;t stir them constantly
    > > but
    > > > let them sit for a bit on each side.
    > > >
    > >
    > > Okay, I purchased the "dry" scallops, and all is now well with the world. It worked perfectly.
    > > The big question I got slammed with is this: How is it possible to sauté the "non-dry" scallops
    > > successfully because they're approximately $10/lb while the "dry" scallops are nearly double at
    > $18+/lb.?
    > >
    > >
    >
    > Beats me. Perhaps this is an example of "you get what you pay for."

    And why can't you dry out "wet" scallops? Inquiring minds want to know...... ;-)

    K.

    --
    Sprout the Mung Bean to reply...

    >,,<Cat's Haven Hobby Farm>,,<Katra at centurytel dot net>,,<
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  13. Daisy

    Daisy Guest

    I use both fresh and frozen scallops from time to time. I always saute them. There are certain rules
    about frozen fish products: always thaw in the refrigerator. Always pat dry with paper towels.
    Always use a very very hot skillet or wok with a very small amount of oil and only a small amount of
    fish in the pan at a time. Do NOT crowd them or you are headed for BIG trouble - LOL.

    As a general rule, any fish is better undercooked than ever overcooked. Scallops sauteed in a very
    hot skillet only take a couple of minutes. You can splash a few drops of soy sauce on them if you
    like - along with a little lemon juice.

    I like to flash saute them as above and have a hot cream and wine garlic sauce ready, so that when I
    put the scallops into the little serving shells, I can then pour the sauce over and sprinkle with a
    little parmesan and do another quick flash grill (broil?) to brown the cheese. This has to be very
    quick or you can risk overcooking the scallops!

    If you are worried about this last step, leave it out, and sprinkle over the scallops in the
    sauce with finely chopped fresh herbs and/or spring onions (green onions? scallions?) I know you
    all get my drift.

    I absolutely adore scallops. But you must remember to flash stir fry them in a very very hot pan!

    Enjoy.

    Daisy.

    Don't assume malice for what stupidity can explain.
     
  14. Dan Levy

    Dan Levy Guest

    "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Okay, I purchased the "dry" scallops, and all is now well with the world. It worked perfectly. The
    > big question I got slammed with is this: How is it possible to sauté the "non-dry" scallops
    > successfully because they're approximately $10/lb while the "dry" scallops are nearly double at
    $18+/lb.?

    Maybe you could remove and drain the scallops after they've juiced out, add more fat to the pan,
    reheat, and then re-add and brown them? Also try a pan that has a textured bottom, giving the excess
    juice somewhere to go.
     
  15. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Guest

    Scot wrote:

    > How do I saute' scallops and get them to have a barely golden exterior without over cooking? I
    > purchased a package of frozen scallops, thawed them in the refrigerator, washed them in a
    > strainer, then dried them with paper towels. In a heated skillet, I melted butter, chopped green
    > onions and a little garlic. When I put the scallops in the pan, a significant amount of water
    > resulted and the scallops were then basically boiled. Where'd I go wrong?

    Try pain searing them in a hot pan with a bit of oil. They only need about a minute per side. I
    like them when they are just a little raw in the middle. You can keep them warm and make a sauce
    with the juices.

    >
    >
    > Thanks,
     
  16. Kilikini

    Kilikini Guest

    "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Peter Aitken" <pait[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:SxsYb.14834$%[email protected]...

    (snip)

    > Okay, I purchased the "dry" scallops, and all is now well with the world. It worked perfectly. The
    > big question I got slammed with is this: How is it possible to sauté the "non-dry" scallops
    > successfully because they're approximately $10/lb while the "dry" scallops are nearly double at
    $18+/lb.?
    >
    >
    >

    Did you notice a difference in the flavor of the *dry* scallops? I'm curious. I didn't know that you
    could get dry scallops. (I still don't think I could find them here on Maui, and at $18 a lb -
    fogettaboutit.) What IS the taste difference? Are they sweeter? Are they firmer? Are they less firm?

    kili
     
  17. Scot

    Scot Guest

    > (snip)
    >
    > > Okay, I purchased the "dry" scallops, and all is now well with the
    world.
    > > It worked perfectly. The big question I got slammed with is this: How
    is
    > > it possible to sauté the "non-dry" scallops successfully because they're approximately $10/lb
    > > while the "dry" scallops are nearly double at
    > $18+/lb.?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    >
    > Did you notice a difference in the flavor of the *dry* scallops? I'm curious. I didn't know that
    > you could get dry scallops. (I still don't think I could find them here on Maui, and at $18 a lb -
    > fogettaboutit.) What IS the taste difference? Are they sweeter? Are they firmer? Are
    they
    > less firm?
    >
    > kili

    Yes, there was a difference. The dry scallops were larger, which allows for browning on the outside
    without over-cooking the inside. Consequently, they were as perfectly firm as those served in a high-
    end restaurant. The taste difference seemed to be less salty, but that could be more a product of
    the way they cook as opposed to the way the smaller "wet" scallops cook. Yeah, the price was high,
    as much as sushi grade tuna.
     
  18. Kilikini

    Kilikini Guest

    "Scot" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > (snip)
    > >
    > > > Okay, I purchased the "dry" scallops, and all is now well with the
    > world.
    > > > It worked perfectly. The big question I got slammed with is this:
    How
    > is
    > > > it possible to sauté the "non-dry" scallops successfully because
    they're
    > > > approximately $10/lb while the "dry" scallops are nearly double at
    > > $18+/lb.?
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > >
    > > Did you notice a difference in the flavor of the *dry* scallops? I'm curious. I didn't know that
    > > you could get dry scallops. (I still don't think I could find them here on Maui, and at $18 a lb
    > > - fogettaboutit.) What IS the taste difference? Are they sweeter? Are they firmer? Are
    > they
    > > less firm?
    > >
    > > kili
    >
    >
    > Yes, there was a difference. The dry scallops were larger, which allows
    for
    > browning on the outside without over-cooking the inside. Consequently,
    they
    > were as perfectly firm as those served in a high-end restaurant. The
    taste
    > difference seemed to be less salty, but that could be more a product of
    the
    > way they cook as opposed to the way the smaller "wet" scallops cook.
    Yeah,
    > the price was high, as much as sushi grade tuna.

    Interesting. They must have been really sweet then. I'll do some looking around at our local
    fishmongers and see if I can find some. Now I've gotta try them! kili
     
  19. Sf

    Sf Guest

    On Wed, 18 Feb 2004 21:56:25 +1300, Daisy
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I use both fresh and frozen scallops from time to time. I always saute them.

    MANY, many years ago, a fish monger told me there was no such thing as an unfrozen (what we consider
    "fresh") shrimp/scallop.

    I don't know why they are called "fresh", but it's probably the same reason as why those chickens
    you could use as bowling balls can be called "fresh"... they aren't frozen to the point that the
    USDA calls "frozen". LOL

    Practice safe eating - always use condiments
     
  20. On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 06:05:57 GMT, sf <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 18 Feb 2004 21:56:25 +1300, Daisy <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> I use both fresh and frozen scallops from time to time. I always saute them.
    >
    >MANY, many years ago, a fish monger told me there was no such thing as an unfrozen (what we
    >consider "fresh") shrimp/scallop.

    That depends on where you are. We get fresh dry scallops in NYC. If we want, we can get them still
    live in the shell.

    OTOH Calicos never seem very good around here (actually I stopped buying them about 20 years ago)
    but they come from the Carolinas. They may well come here frozen.

    I did have calicoes at a restaurant in DC that were delicious, but he got them live. They were
    steamed open and served over pasta in their shells.

    If the only shrimp is from SE Asian farms, of course they are frozen. But again, in a large city,
    there are other supply lines.

    Rodney Myrvaagnes J36 Gjo/a

    "In this house we _obey_ the laws of thermodynamics." --Homer Simpson
     
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