There's bay scallops and there's Cape Cod or Nantucket bay scallops. You can get great quantities of Chinese farmed bay scallops for an economical price, but their flavor is decidedly ho-hum. The local ones are sweet and wonderful and every bit worth the price, even if you get just a quarter-pound to put over rice or pasta. This recipe works well for that, or as a decadent appetizer.
4 T Butter (Unsalted)
8 oz Cape Cod bay scallops
4 fl oz Dry Vermouth (A good one, like Martini and Rossi, or Cinzano )
- In a small skillet over moderate heat, melt the butter until the foam subsides.
- Add the scallops and stir them around so they each get well drenched in hot butter. They will let out their own juices to flavor the butter.
- Stir in the vermouth. Let it steam for a while. When the scallops are as done as you like, take them out with a slotted spoon into a small warm dish.
- Reduce the sauce to a thick brown gravy. Use this to dress the scallops for serving.
- If you need to stretch the sauce to go with pasta or rice, use equal parts butter and dry vermouth and reduce it to a good thickness.
The same recipe will work with the farmed Chinese scallops. This may be a cost effective way to nail down the technique before splurging on the local scallops, but do try it with the local scallops, there's no comparison!