If you have skipped the seafood counter or fish market
as prices climbed, take another look.
is good news. Scallops, a favorite of seafood lovers, are in good supply
with a consequent reduction in price. Virginia suppliers say scallops have
“come back” after some scarcity. And other good news is that they are
bigger than ever. Springtime is the best time to buy scallops. That is when
they are at their best price.
Another Virginia gift from the sea is clams but,
interestingly, clams are more popular with Northerners than Southerners.
Much of our healthy supply of both wild and farmed clams is shipped north.
Southerners’ infatuation with oysters may have contributed to the snubbing
of these mollusks. And many cooks confess, they just never have tried clams.
A new brochure, produced by the Virginia Marine
Products Board, offers help to would-be clam cooks, shellfish lovers who are
denying themselves or their families, or those looking for new ideas.
Affordable Shellfish tells how and when to select
crabs, clams, oysters and scallops — all Virginia shellfish. Preparation
and shelf-life information are also provided. In addition, there are
“stretcher” tips from Virginia chefs and recipes ranging from super
simple to fancy.
And if you haven’t tried clams, do. They are
available both shucked and in the shell. In the shell they make a handsome
entrée, as our photo demonstrates. Scallops in a cucumber sauce served cold
over a baked potato? That recipe was inspired by a tuna salad served on
baked potato that I enjoyed in Scotland last summer. I thought it was so
good that I experimented with scallops — even better!
To order Affordable Shellfish or Affordable Fish
(advising how to enjoy plentiful, yet affordable, fish like bluefish, spot,
croaker and mackerel), send a stamped self-addressed business envelope for
each to: Virginia Marine Products Board, 554 Denbigh Blvd., Suite B, Newport
News, VA 23608.
Directions: Bake potatoes until done. While potatoes are baking,
quarter or halve scallops and steam over simmering water in covered skillet
for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove when done (opaque) and refrigerate. To make
sauce: Cover sliced cucumbers with water. Sprinkle with salt. Let set for 30
minutes. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, onion and vinegar. Mix
well. Drain cucumber and dry on paper towels. Add to sauce. Add additional
salt, if needed. Fold in fresh cilantro. To serve, make cross slices in
potatoes, press open. Divide scallops and arrange on potatoes. Top with
cucumber sauce. Serves 4.
Clams with Red
Peppers and Pasta