When I wrote about our culinary
adventures in St. Barthelemy, FWI in March, one of our readers, “Mike”, got
into a spirited discussion about how the scallops I’d waxed poetic over, were
not local. In fact, he was pretty irate about
seafood in general and posted as a comment:
“Why the lack of eating local seafood? Scallops multiple times mentioned (frozen and cryovaced from
America)...so really as a foodie...how good can it be?" Now “Mike” is a Massachusetts native and his
knowledge of seafood is impressive. In a
subsequent comment, he explained: “ Scallops do not freeze well…they shrivel
and such...and because of that the frozen ones are not "dry" scallops,
they are the ones that have that phosphate solution added to them to plump them
up and make them hold water and look better after they defrost.” All that being
said, I still loved my St. Barth’s scallops. And when we got home and I came across a recipe for a Stir Fry with
scallops, I couldn't wait to get my hands on some fresh scallops.
Sam Sifton recalls, when the waitress at Chicago’s Balena restaurant approached
the table with a steak knife, everyone’s eyebrows went up. No one had ordered
steak. The waitress explained the knife
was for the mushrooms. Someone had
ordered a ravishing dish: Creamy-rich Creminis browned to perfection and very
simply cooked with some shallots and fresh thyme before being turned into
complete ambrosia with a beaker of heavy cream.
Not content to stop there, Chef Chris Pandel used them atop thick
slices of toasted Sour Dough Rye Bread crowned with the sweetest of caramelized
onions. They literally jumped off the page at me. I could not wait to try them.
And neither apparently could Sam Sifton.