An interesting treat found in all of the world's oceans, scallops are easy to make and relatively versatile. Here's how.
Scallops are from the same family as oysters but are much easier to prepare and serve. They've got a rich, fleshy texture and slightly sweet taste, but are neutral enough to work with just about anything. You'll find them roasted, pan cooked, grilled, you name it, and then served with everything from noodles to bacon. To shop, aim to find diver scallops, which are the most eco-friendly. Instead of being captured with nets dragged across the ocean floor, they're hand picked by divers who tend to leave the younger and smaller ones to grow which helps maintain the population. If you can't find diver scallops, you'll likely find bay or sea -- bay scallops are smaller, while sea are the larger. All are available fresh or frozen. Be aware that a lot of companies soak them in water to increase their weight and size -- and that often includes soap. You'll know it when you cook it. Watch for labels that say 'dry packed,' or 'chemical free,' or ask when buying fresh at the store. To cook scallops, regardless of recipe, it's about six minutes on each side for larger but always yield to whatever recipe you're using. Enjoy this item sparingly -- the population of scallops globally is said to be fairly depleted, and it doesn't appear that they're farm raised.