For this week's final Tasty Kitchen experience, I chose Scallops 'n Pasta (click link for recipe). This is another dish that is a little outside my comfort zone. When you grow up in Oklahoma, you don't experience much in the way of seafood beyond the tuna sandwich and frozen fish stick. As a result, I'm not really a fan of seafood...I eat it very rarely and cook it even less. Salmon tastes too fishy...clams smell...and shrimp remind me too much of those grub worms I used to dig out of my mother's garden...
But, I thought I'd give this scallop recipe a try. I've made scallops a few times, always using the little bitty ones. They were fast and were so small that I really didn't need to chew them. This is a nice feature for someone who is freaked out by the taste and texture of seafood.
This recipe was a little different - it used the big scallops. But, hey...it looked pretty and bigger scallops meant fewer things to cook. Besides, this recipe got rave reviews and it sounded so easy. I could do this, right?
This recipe was an absolute train wreck for me! It wasn't so bad that we had to run to McDonald's, but it was horrendous enough that I can assure I won't ever make it again. I'm scarred for life. Don't let this stop you, though. I am convinced that it was my ineptitude at making seafood combined with my aversion to eating seafood that ruined this for me. And I loved the pasta part...it was just those scallops!
Those scallops right there...they were the death of me.
Okay, so where did things start going wrong? Right from the beginning. The recipe tells you to dry the scallops off and then sear them on high heat. So I dried. Then I threw them in my skillet on the highest setting it would go.
And then I waited...and waited...and waited. After waiting the appropriate amount of time, I flipped them. The scallop flipped but the seared part stuck to the skillet! My nonstick skillet! Grrrrr.....
After flipping, the recipe said to continue cooking until cooked through. And here's where my biggest beef with seafood comes in. How do you know when it's cooked through? With every other kind of meat, you just cut into it a little and see if it's pink. Even white fish isn't so bad...you see if it flakes with your fork. But scallops? I just made a very uneducated guess and removed them to a plate.
Hmmm.....doesn't really look like the picture posted with the recipe...
Those are pretty...maybe even edible. Mine?
Well, we won't talk about what mine look like.
Then it was time for the sauce. I sauteed my garlic in butter for a few seconds, added the diced tomatoes, then the white wine and parsley. The picture doesn't look pretty, but the sauce did taste good.
And then it was time to toss it all together. The one redeeming moment of the recipe, where the picture actually looks appetizing...
Like I said, I loved the pasta. The sauce was quite good. I'll have to do it again sometime.
The scallops? Well, I was so scared that I had undercooked them, that I basically swallowed them as fast as I could. And they didn't have that nice seared flavor that the recipe talked about...that I should have been able to accomplish. Nope...they were just big white globs. I think I'll do without the scallops next time.
Maybe I'm just not meant to cook seafood. I think it's because I grew up in Oklahoma.
I will leave you with the picture that went with the recipe. I imagine this tasted awesome. I'll bet the cook didn't grow up in Oklahoma...
This recipe is linked to the Saturday Blog Showcase!