Scallops occupy a special position among seafood. They are no less tasty than crabs or shrimps and no less nutritious than calamari or mussels, but they have much more tender meat than all other inhabitants of salty water bodies. Therefore, not every hostess will be able to cook scallops delicious. And if we consider that in our latitudes, fresh or at least slightly chilled seafood is rarely sold, then you have to cook frozen scallops, and this is even more difficult. However, nothing is impossible for the cook, who wants to please loved ones with a delicious dish, and at the same time learn a couple of new recipes.
We suggest you cook frozen scallops in several ways, set out in order of increasing complexity. This will allow you to choose the most suitable and most accessible recipe, based on your abilities, goals and free time. In any case, whatever you choose, scallop dishes are tasty, nourishing and at the same time nutritionally healthy. For this reason alone, it is worthwhile to at least occasionally prepare scallops for yourself and your family.
Composition, benefits and taste of scallops Sea scallops are a whole family that combines bivalve mollusks with a characteristic form of a shell, resembling a bird crest or a stylized crown. Inside the shell lies the muscular body of the mollusk, which is used in cooking. The taste of scallops is gentle and characteristic, it is easy to distinguish it from other seafood delicacies for a sweetish aftertaste, which doesn’t spoil the scallop dishes, but makes them particularly savory. This feature is due to the complex chemical composition of these seafood delicacies.
Mollusks for 17-20% consist of easy-to-digest protein with a full amino acid composition, and carbohydrates (3% by weight) and fats (2% by weight) make up only a small fraction of the composition. Therefore, the calorie content of scallops is low: only 92 kcal / 100 g. But the low energy value does not detract from the nutritional qualities, and they are truly outstanding in scallops: zinc, iodine, nickel, fluorine, molybdenum, chlorine, and also vitamins PP (niacin ), E and group B. This composition makes scallop an ideal product in any diet: even for weight loss, even for recovery.
Judge for yourself: low-fat protein is easily absorbed even by a weakened digestive system, so that scallops can and should be included in the diet of recovering patients, restoring strength after surgery or treatment. This food is suitable for both children and the elderly. Fans of sports and fitness, seeking to build a muscular and beautiful body, appreciate scallops for a large number of essential amino acids and eat them even during pre-competition drying. Finally, scallops should be tried by anyone who is not indifferent to tasty and healthy food, and loves to cook at home.
How to cook frozen scallops? Scallops If you at least once had to order a dish with scallops in a restaurant, then, most likely, you served them directly on the shells. At home, it is difficult to achieve such delights, as well as buy scallops with shells – on the counters they get peeled. Moreover: you can buy fresh scallops only near the sea coast, whereas in supermarkets mostly frozen seafood is sold. What to do with frozen scallops? Here’s what:
- First, you should choose small scallops, which are tastier and more tender than large mollusks. The most convenient way to do this is if seafood is sold by weight, and not in factory packaging.
- Secondly, before cooking, store them in the freezer and avoid re-freezing, after which the product will lose its taste and the lion’s share of benefits.
- Thirdly, thawing scallops should be gradually, first placing them on the shelf of the refrigerator, and then at room temperature.
If you are in a hurry, you can drop a tightly tied bag with frozen scallops into a bowl of warm water and defrost with such an accelerated method. But it is better not to abuse this method. And after the scallops are thawed out and become soft, they can be cooked, fried, stewed and cooked from them a variety of snacks.
How to cook frozen scallops? Boiled scallops are the easiest and fastest way to cook them. Cooking scallops takes very little time, and the result is a ready-to-eat dish or base for other, more complex culinary compositions:
- To cook half a kilo of scallops, pour a liter of water into a saucepan, lightly salt it and add a few bay leaves and peas (black and allspice). When the water begins to boil, put the previously thawed scallops into it and simmer for 5-7 minutes without a lid. Drain water through a colander, sprinkle boiled scallops with lemon juice and serve with rice or vegetable salad.
- To cook scallops in sauce, you will need 300 grams of sour cream for every pound of shellfish, as well as a pinch of salt and a mixture of aromatic herbs to your taste (dried basil, oregano, marjoram). Thaw the scallops and cut into strips. Dissolve sour cream with water or vegetable broth to the consistency of a liquid sauce. Pour into a saucepan, salt and add spices. Heat, stirring, over low heat, and at the first sign of boiling, dip the scallops into the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. boiled scallops
- To quickly cook scallops, dip them, without defrosting, into boiling water and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Meanwhile, mix and whip in a deep bowl half a glass of vegetable oil (preferably olive oil), fresh juice of 1 large lemon, 4 tablespoons of the finished mustard (pasta), 3 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Cooked scallops fold in a colander, then put in a bowl to the sauce and mix. Cover with foil and marinate in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
Boiled scallops are in perfect harmony with a side dish of rice, cereals and potatoes. Spices for scallops do not need to be chosen on purpose – ready-made mixtures for fish and / or standard spices and greens are quite suitable.
How to fry frozen scallops? Frying scallops is even easier than cooking. Before frying, frozen clams are thawed, and then cooked in a pan:
- Drain the thawed scallops with a paper towel and fold into a deep bowl.
- Pour 500 grams of scallops with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, mix with a pinch of ground pepper and leave for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.
- Heat the frying pan with a thick bottom and fry scallops on it in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- In a second dry skillet, dry a pinch of sesame seeds. fried scallops
- Put the fried scallops on the plate over the leaves of fresh salad, sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and sprinkle with half lemon juice with fresh juice.
Gentle scallops fillet is easy to overcook if held in the pan for too long. The time indicated in the recipe is designed for whole shellfish, so cut it down if you fry chopped scallops. After frying, serve them on the table immediately, because hot they are much tastier than cooled ones.
What to cook with scallops? Scallops can be not only cooked and fried, but also stewed, pickled and baked as a part of paella, under cheese and bacon. Try these recipes for starters:
- Braised scallops with green beans. A pound of scallops is enough 250 grams of green beans, 1 onion, 1 lime or medium-sized lemon, 1 bunch of fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ginger root, a pinch of salt and chili pepper on the tip of a teaspoon. Oil the pan, heat and fry the scallops on both sides until tender. In the meantime, cut the onion into half rings, and the beans – into equal pieces. Remove the fried scallops, put onion and beans in the same pan and fry until the onions are transparent. Then add ginger, mix and cover with water to cover the contents of the pan. Stew under the lid until the beans are soft. Chop the greens. Return the scallops to the pan, add the chili, chopped parsley, salt and simmer, stirring, for 3-5 minutes. Pour freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice before serving. scallops in batter
- Scallops in batter. On a pound of scallops you will need half a cup of flour, 1 large egg, 1 glass of milk, fresh lemon, a bunch of greens, salt, pepper and spices to taste (on a pinch), and also enough amount of vegetable oil for frying. Thawed scallops cut in half, put in a bowl and pour 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add pepper and salt, stir and remove for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. In the meantime, prepare the batter from milk, eggs, and flour. Pour the refined oil to the pan to a height of at least 1 cm. Dip the scallops into the dough, roll in it, then put it in the heated oil and fry for 5-6 minutes. Then put on a colander with a paper towel, remove excess fat and sprinkle with chopped greens with lemon juice to taste.
All recipes for scallops, simple and complex, can be adapted to your abilities, tastes and current season. For example, instead of fresh greens, you can use dried herbs, and sauerkraut can be served as a side dish. Scallops do not quarrel with almost any products on your table and fit perfectly into the festive menu. Like any seafood, they are quickly prepared and quickly absorbed, leaving no weight in the stomach. We wish you bon appetite and inspiration for new culinary experiments!