Almost 20 years ago, I had fresh scallops in Peru. They were served on the half shell with the roe still intact. At the time, I didn’t appreciate just how good they were.
For my 40th birthday, my wife ordered me fresh scallops from a local seafood market (in Texas, you can only get scallops in the shell by special order). The picture to the left shows how they arrived (minus the wine), of course.
Now, I recall the scallops in Peru as being baked, with only parmesan cheese. But that just seemed a little naked.
So, we added a little wine and some italian parsley, then baked. We were cooking for 12, so our cooking times were a bit off (probably cooked them about 1 minute to long). Nonetheless, WOW. Super fresh, a hint of sea, and all around delicious!
What you need:
Scallops, still in the shell
Dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works well)
Argentinian parmesan cheese (it’s not as hard as parmigiano-reggiano, and melts well)
What to do with it:
Wash the scallop. It will be open slightly (like a soft-shelled clam), so don’t worry.
Hold the scallop with the shallow side up, and cut away the shell from the scallop. Repeat for the bottom half.
You now should have the scallop detached. There’s a sheath around the scallop that
holds all that excess stuff to the scallop. Cut that off, and throw away everything except the roe
(orange or slightly pink, depending on the sex of your scallop). Place the scallop and the roe in the deep shell, sprinkle on a bit of parsley (very little), grind on a twist of sea salt, sprinkle on some grated parmesan
, and add about 1 tbsp. wine (add it on the side of the scallop, not on top).
Bake at 450 degrees for 4-6 minutes, depending on how many you have. Err on the side of not enough time (you can always put in for another minute).
Ours came packed in seaweed, so we put that down on the plate for serving. We also served with Rombauer Chardonnay. Any “oaked” chardonnay should do, however.