SCALLOPS WITH CAULIFLOWER AND BREADCRUMBS

AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED THERE'S ONLY ONE GOOD WAY TO COOK SCALLOPS -- PAN-SEARED AND BUTTER-BASTED; DONE IN LESS THAN FOUR MINUTES.  I SUPPOSE DEEP-FRYING IS AN ACCEPTABLE EXCEPTION TO THAT RULE, BUT I DON'T OWN A DEEP FRYER.  I WAIT TILL I'M IN MAINE OR CAPE COD FOR MY FRIED SCALLOPS.  STILL, I'M A BIT EMBARRASSED TO CONTINUE PUBLISHING THE SAME RECIPE.  IN AN EFFORT TO OFFSET MY LACK OF IMAGINATION, I TRY AND VARY THE ACCOMPANIMENTS TO THE SCALLOPS; IN THIS CASE, STEAMED CAULIFLOWER TOSSED IN BROWNED BREADCRUMBS.  CAULIFLOWER, WHICH MAKES YOU FEEL YOU'RE LOSING WEIGHT JUST BY EATING IT IS THE EXCUSE FOR THE BUTTER.  THE BREADCRUMBS ADD THAT NEEDED CRUNCH.  HOME-MADE BREADCRUMBS ARE A MUST.  THIS DISH, THOUGH EASY TO PREPARE, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF MAKING MORE THAN ONCE.  

BREADCRUMBS
 1 LOAF OF GOOD SOURDOUGH BREAD
SCALLOPS AND CAULIFLOWER
 1 SMALL HEAD OF CAULIFLOWER
 6 SEA SCALLOPS
 HOME-MADE BREADCRUMBS
 FRESH CHIVES
 LEMON WEDGES
 2 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME
HOME-MADE BREADCRUMBS
1

CUT THE BREAD INTO 2-INCH CHUNKS AND SPREAD ON A RIMMED BAKING SHEET.

LEAVE OUT OVERNIGHT OR BAKE FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES IN A 200º OVEN. THE BREAD SHOULD BE HARD, STALE WITH NO SOFT SPOTS.

SPREAD THE BREAD ON YOUR COUNTERTOP AND USING A CAST IRON SKILLET CRUSH INTO BREADCRUMBS USING A ROCKING MOTION UNTIL YOU ACHIEVE THE CONSISTENCY YOU LIKE. I PREFER BREADCRUMBS WITH AN INCONSISTENT CONSISTENCY.

STORE IN A GLASS JAR. BREADCRUMBS WILL KEEP THAT WAY FOR A LONG TIME.

2

CUT THE FLORETS OFF OF THE CAULIFLOWER AND PLACE IN A STEAMER. STEAM FOR ABOUT 6 MINUTES UNTIL EASILY PIERCED WITH A SHARP KNIFE, BUT STILL A BIT UNDERCOOKED.

DRY SCALLOPS THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS.

HEAT 2 TBSPS OF GRAPE SEED OR CANOLA OIL IN A FRYING PAN OVER HIGH HEAT. WHEN THE OIL IS VERY HOT, SEASON THE SCALLOPS WITH SALT AND PEPPER AND LAY CAREFULLY IN THE PAN. COOK FOR ABOUT 1 MINUTE WITHOUT MOVING AROUND IN THE PAN.

FLIP SCALLOPS OVER. ADD 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER AND 2 THYME SPRIGS. TURN OFF HEAT AND BASTE WITH BUTTER FOR 2 MINUTES. REMOVE SCALLOPS TO A WARM PLATTER. DISCARD THYME.

ADD 1 TBSP OF BUTTER TO THE PAN AND HEAT UNTIL THE BUTTER RUNS CLEAR AND STARTS TO BROWN. ADD THE BREADCRUMBS AND BROWN, TOSSING CONSTANTLY SO THEY BROWN BUT DO NOT BURN. TURN OFF THE HEAT.

FOLD IN COOKED CAULIFLOWER AND TURN TILL THOROUGHLY COATED WITH THE BREADCRUMBS.

ARRANGE ON THE PLATTER WITH THE SCALLOPS. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED CHIVES AND SERVE WITH LEMON WEDGES.

SERVES 2

Ingredients

BREADCRUMBS
 1 LOAF OF GOOD SOURDOUGH BREAD
SCALLOPS AND CAULIFLOWER
 1 SMALL HEAD OF CAULIFLOWER
 6 SEA SCALLOPS
 HOME-MADE BREADCRUMBS
 FRESH CHIVES
 LEMON WEDGES
 2 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME

Directions

HOME-MADE BREADCRUMBS
1

CUT THE BREAD INTO 2-INCH CHUNKS AND SPREAD ON A RIMMED BAKING SHEET.

LEAVE OUT OVERNIGHT OR BAKE FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES IN A 200º OVEN. THE BREAD SHOULD BE HARD, STALE WITH NO SOFT SPOTS.

SPREAD THE BREAD ON YOUR COUNTERTOP AND USING A CAST IRON SKILLET CRUSH INTO BREADCRUMBS USING A ROCKING MOTION UNTIL YOU ACHIEVE THE CONSISTENCY YOU LIKE. I PREFER BREADCRUMBS WITH AN INCONSISTENT CONSISTENCY.

STORE IN A GLASS JAR. BREADCRUMBS WILL KEEP THAT WAY FOR A LONG TIME.

2

CUT THE FLORETS OFF OF THE CAULIFLOWER AND PLACE IN A STEAMER. STEAM FOR ABOUT 6 MINUTES UNTIL EASILY PIERCED WITH A SHARP KNIFE, BUT STILL A BIT UNDERCOOKED.

DRY SCALLOPS THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS.

HEAT 2 TBSPS OF GRAPE SEED OR CANOLA OIL IN A FRYING PAN OVER HIGH HEAT. WHEN THE OIL IS VERY HOT, SEASON THE SCALLOPS WITH SALT AND PEPPER AND LAY CAREFULLY IN THE PAN. COOK FOR ABOUT 1 MINUTE WITHOUT MOVING AROUND IN THE PAN.

FLIP SCALLOPS OVER. ADD 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER AND 2 THYME SPRIGS. TURN OFF HEAT AND BASTE WITH BUTTER FOR 2 MINUTES. REMOVE SCALLOPS TO A WARM PLATTER. DISCARD THYME.

ADD 1 TBSP OF BUTTER TO THE PAN AND HEAT UNTIL THE BUTTER RUNS CLEAR AND STARTS TO BROWN. ADD THE BREADCRUMBS AND BROWN, TOSSING CONSTANTLY SO THEY BROWN BUT DO NOT BURN. TURN OFF THE HEAT.

FOLD IN COOKED CAULIFLOWER AND TURN TILL THOROUGHLY COATED WITH THE BREADCRUMBS.

ARRANGE ON THE PLATTER WITH THE SCALLOPS. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED CHIVES AND SERVE WITH LEMON WEDGES.

SERVES 2

SCALLOPS WITH CAULIFLOWER AND BREADCRUMBS
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