Scallop dinner in 25 minutes

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by Josh Resnek

If you don’t care for deep sea scallops, well, don’t read this story about Sunday evening dinner at my house.

I don’t think it matters very much where you buy deep sea scallops. I prefer Market Basket and the fish store on Atlantic Avenue in Marblehead. There is about a $5.00 per pound difference in price for a pound between these two. I bought 12 scallops for $21.00 in Marblehead.

I take the scallops and soak them in beaten eggs in a flat plate. I make sure to turn them over several times.

Then I drop each one of them gently into a flat plate of seasoned panko crumbs. I season the crumbs myself with my favorite seasonings – a sprinkle of coarse Jewish salt and pepper, and a hearty sprinkling of a zesty mix of seasonings you might expect to be poured onto a piece of sirloin before grilling.

One by one I roll the scallops in the seasoning.

One by one I place them on a flat plate.

I set out three flat white plates.

I press a small handful of salad mix onto all three plates in exactly the same place. I like symmetry. Food should be designed on a plate and it should be colorful, but most of all – yes – it must be delicious.

I cut up one avocado into halves and then into quarters. I place two hearty pieces of ripe avocado on top of the salad mix. I criss cross the avocados.

I cut several cherry tomatoes and I set them down near to the avocado.

I drip Italian olive oil first and then balsamic vinegar onto this colorful and tasty mixture, making sure it spreads on the plate just slightly.

In one stainless steel pan I place 12 cut pieces of potato from the same potato, pour Italian oil into the pan. I light the burner. I am cooking French fries that look like pickle spears you’d get at Kelly’s.

I pour Italian oil into the a Teflon pan. I pickup each scallop with care and place them gently into the pan. I light a small flame under this pan. A slightly larger flame cooks the French fries. They take longer to cook than the scallops.

I like everything rare. I like my scallops juicy and not really cooked through and through.

My wife likes scallops cooked through and through which makes for a much firmer bite.

I compromised Sunday night. We ate the scallops cooked through and through.

The fries are done in about 8-10 minutes. I set them down one by one on paper towels on my counter top. I salt them lightly. I place them on the plates next to the salad.

The scallops need to brown on both sides – and that way – you know the center is OK.

You can’t have an OK center if both sides aren’t browned.

Browned, seasoned panko crumbs are a rush to the palate.

I place the scallops lovingly onto the plates.

One last sprinkle of salt over everything.


We are ready to eat an incredible dinner.

The scallops are sweet and firm. The panko crumbs add a tasty dimension, then a bite of potato – oh yes – and then the salads with the avocado swishing around in the oil and balsamic vinegar.

Doesn’t get much better than this…if you like scallops.

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