Happy National Baked Scallops Day! (3/12)

Look, dude!  I live in Florida.  I have cooked and eaten a ton of seafood.  You want me to just talk about the ones I’ve cooked and eaten?  Ok, ok, I’ll do that.  I’ve made sautéed/fried flounder, tilapia, salmon (yeah, you can fry salmon if you’re careful), and shrimp.   I’ve steamed/boiled so many others, I’ve done shrimp, crawfish, scallops, blue crabs and oysters.

Ok, so that’s the past, because here we go with this whole baked scallop thing. I have to tell you that it’s never occurred to me to bake a seafood.  Yes, I have been forced before.  You have to do it sometimes when you put some of that fake crab and bread stuffing in the middle of a butterfly cut of tilapia or flounder, but at that point, aren’t you really just framing the featured item with an insignificant amount of fish? Kind of like how a lemon is always on the rim of a drink, mostly for garnish, until you’re serving up a lemon drop shot, in which case suddenly the lemon becomes the feature and what’s in the shot glass is the accompaniment.

Ok, I don’t know if it’s like that, but I do know that I’m a little upset that baking scallops with such a little bit of bread crumb and butter was such an amazing difference from what I’ve been doing.  Granted, in the past I’ve just dumped some Old Bay spice on them and steamed them for a few minutes, but I still feel like I have every right to be upset that no one ever made a baked scallop anywhere that I’ve eaten. I don’t know, maybe it’s been on menus and I never noticed it, but that would make me even more mad!

I did learn a local lesson tonight.  Previously, whenever I was in the mood for scallops, I’d get some “Bay Scallops.” Bay scallops are traditionally the smaller ones.  Tonight I wanted bigger ones though, because I thought they would be more forgiving if I over-baked. Typically I have gotten the bay ones because I assumed that the definition of bay scallop meant it was harvested locally in the bay. These tonight, just struck me as odd though, so I asked where they were from.  “Argentina,” he said.  That just really bothered me, because I live on Florida’s Apalachicola Bay.  When we order “Bay Oysters,” we locals kind of assume we’re talking about The Bay.

Anyway, partially due to deception and partially due to my need for an “Oops, I screwed it up” buffer zone, I went across the street to the fancy store and bought some big ass scallops.  They had some “bay” scallops too, so I bought some just to see if it made a difference.

I’m telling you it doesn’t make a difference in taste, but it makes one in experience. I mean, we’re talking about the difference between a Hershey’s Kiss and a slice of German chocolate cake.  The short of it is, baked scallops are a winner. I had them with flounder and beans, and it was an $18.99/plate meal, I tell you that for certain!

See you Tuesday for National Coconut Torte Day!

About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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