Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Free Range Scallops

My husband and I LOVE scallops! Our favorite place to buy them is in Portland, Maine. We are fortunate enough to spend most of our free time in Maine - we just love it. We also like to purchase our scallops on the waterfront.  The scallops in this dish were purchased from Free Range Fish & Lobster, 450 Commercial Street Portland, ME 04101, (866) 700-8469. We buy most of our seafood from them!

These scallops are dry, local, sea scallops (see explanation below)- they are on the pricy side, but so worth it!  I usually buy about 2 pounds at a time and freeze the rest.  Check out their website (above) when you have a moment, I think they ship!

Our new motto is "eat fresh, eat local, eat better, eat less and live longer!"

12 ounces of pan seared scallops in small amount of olive oil
12 - 16 ounces of baby organic arugula (or spinach)
1 - 14 ounce can of fire roasted organic diced tomatoes
2 diced garlic cloves
Angel hair pasta for 2

Cook and drain the pasta ahead of time
Pan sear the scallops and set aside when cooked (keeping them warm)
in a large sauce pan add the olive oil, add the garlic, about 30 seconds later add the diced tomatoes to stop the garlic from cooking.
Bring the tomatoes to a simmer
Add the arugula in small batches tossing in the tomato sauce and incorporating and you mix it.  (Remember, the arugula will shrink, so be generous with it!)

Pour a glass of nice white, cold vino. Plate the pasta, add the tomato sauce, add the scallops, then top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and enjoy!

Satisfies 2 adults!  Yum!

Dry vs. Wet Scallops
Wet scallops are commonly treated with Phosphates which is a preservative. When scallops are soaked in phosphates, they absorb water making them weigh more and thereby costing you more. (Take in mind, that you are paying for added water.) The absorbed water evaporates during cooking and, in turn, shrinks your scallops leaving them smaller, dry and somewhat tasteless. Furthermore, the added water does not let scallops brown properly during cooking. It is generally easy to discern treated scallops as they will usually appear snow-white in color.

Dry scallops are all wild and natural. They are not treated with any chemicals whatsoever. They are harvested directly from the ocean, shucked on deck, then immediately frozen on the boat to capture their quality. Dry scallops caramelize naturally during cooking to a golden brown color that is very attractive when serving. And, as you might have guessed, there is no cost-added water weight with dry scallops. Dry scallops generally have a natural vanilla color.


  1. Interesting. I didn't know there were wet and dry scallops. And I feel better knowing they didn't live their short lives in tiny little cages.

    You know, I've never been to Portland.

  2. I recently asked our son for his recipe for the scallops that he prepared for me when I was visiting him and his wife in New Bedford. I told him they were the best I've ever had. He told me that he simply gave them a little salt and pepper and sauteed them in butter and olive oil. Then he said: "They were only a few hours old when I prepared them"!! He had purchased them practically off the boat!! He served them over polenta. Your recipe sounds equally delicious! He also explained the difference between wet and dry. Did I mention that he has a degree in food science?

    I need another trip back east and soon!


  3. Yum, sounds wonderful. I didn't know about the wet-dry thing with scallops, but it makes sense. One thing I'd change, though. I'm not a huge fan of white wine, so I'd change that to a glass of room temperature chianti. And now, I'll have you know, there's gonna be no rest in my butt until I get to the market and get some scallops. (I hope you're happy!)

  4. I'm drooling looking these scallops! I wouldn't be sharing this with anyone :p

  5. Sounds wonderful! Lovely blog ~ I'm a new follower ~ ♥

  6. This looks soo good. I adore seafood, have eaten it all my life. In the past two years, I have gotten sick after attempting scallops and lobster and shrimp. Ask me how heartbroken I am. *sigh*

  7. Looks so good! I prefer the dry, not always easy to find, but worth seeking out.

  8. What a difference fresh scallops must be like; not easy to find where we live, but here in Victoria, they are wonderful.

  9. Oh my goodness you have me so craving these right now! Love them. I've been waiting for years for the price to come down, but they are a treat every once in a while. Thanks for the recipe, it looks scrumptious! ~Lili

  10. My mouth is drooling. I'm licking the screen. I'm buying a plane ticket!

  11. I didn't know about the wet-dry thing either! I bet the dry scallops are tastier and have a better texture too. This recipe looks amazing. I wonder if you can feel the envy coming through the internet!

    Over here (UK) we are encouraged to buy hand-dived scallops which are more expensive (much, much more expensive!). This is more environmentally-friendly and sustainable since the dredging of the sea bed can damage it.

  12. I'm going to have to try your recipe with our local bay scallops. A little smaller and sweeter than sea scallops. It's almost the end of the season :( Looks delicious!

  13. Dry pack scallops are by far the best and worth the price. Wet scallops have a strange metallic taste to me and are very difficult to saute no matter how much you dry them.

    You are a lucky girl to live within driving distance of good quality scallops. Makes me want to move to Maine, but only in the summertime. I'm a flip-flop kind of gal. And you are right, our posts today would make any seafood joint green with envy. Lovely post Mary.

  14. For some reason I thought I followed your blog Mary. Don't know what happened, but I wasn't there among the smiling faces.

    Fixed it now though.

  15. This is a dish that SB and I love ... we def buy dry shipped scallops ... ours come from the Hampton/Seabrook area and are wild caught. They are pricier, but so much better. I admit I've come to a point where I only buy North Atlantic sea scallops ... they are my favorite shellfish! Great recipe, Mary! YUM!

  16. Oh my goodness, what a delicious looking dish! Scallops aren't my favorite seafood but if prepared well and dry, as you said, I do enjoy them. I think I would love them this way!

  17. Oh boy Mary, this scallop dish looks as delicious as the shrimp dish with the same ingredients. Its to bad fresh natural ingredients like the scallops aren't available at our local markets.

  18. I am definetly going to try this receipe. It looks delicious! I just found your blog today and really enjoyed it - I became a follower too. Check out my blog - you might enjoy it Have a great day!

  19. Hi lovely lady.
    Wow this looks delicious. We love Scalllops in this house!! I need to copy this down.. Thanks so much for your comments on my Easter Tablescape. Hope you and your family have a wonderful week with your family.
    XXOO Diane

  20. oooohhhhh scallops! Blessed are YOU to have fresh; they are so wonderful when fresh and not half bad when frozen.


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