Baked Bay Scallops with Tomatoes

February 16, 2010

Jared and I frequently watch Alton Brown’s Good Eats and have to say I was horrified when I heard he was going on a diet. I mean, what about his segments on pies, or on cobbler, or on…chocolate!? Were they never going to have their well-deserved encores?

I guess I needn’t have worried. Last night Alton did a show on Scallops, and there was never a lack of butter or oil. I can breathe easy again.

So here it is, my interpretation on dish #2 from Episode EA0916H, “Shell Game IV (Scallops)

Baked Bay Scallops with Tomatoes

Alton calls these “Scallops on the Half Shell” but I think a more descriptive title works better here. I also didn’t serve them on scallop shells, but rather in small single-serving ramekins. You can bake them in any oven-proof baking dish, but single-serving ones are very cute on the table.

1 T. each unsalted butter and extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 large pinch of kosher salt
1 cup or so of panko bread crumbs, or fresh bread crumbs, or crushed crackers
1 pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
8 ounces bay scallops, rinsed and dried thoroughly
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (if using canned tomatoes, include some tomato juice from the can)
1 t. each dried parsley and dried basil or double that amount fresh

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°
  • Melt butter in the olive oil in a 10″ nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
  • When butter is melted and foam has subsided, add garlic and saute for 30 seconds until very fragrant, but not browned.
  • Add dried red pepper flakes and saute for an additional 15-20 seconds.
  • Add bread crumbs and stir until the crumbs have absorbed all the butter mixture. Turn heat down to low.
  • Toss scallops with kosher salt, set aside (you can do this up to 10 minutes in advance, if you like)
  • Mix herbs together with tomatoes in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as desired.
  • Spoon half the tomatoes into the bottom of a small ramekin.
  • Top the tomatoes with half the scallops and then cover with an even layer of bread crumbs
  • Bake uncovered for 10-12 minutes until the topping is nicely browned and crisp and the scallops are cooked through to medium/medium-rare (as desired).
  • Serve immediately. Crusty bread recommended.

Enjoy my friends! Here’s what it looks like:

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