Cooking On A Budget: Captain's Fried Scallop Platter

Monday, May 19, 2014

Captain's Fried Scallop Platter


It seems like only yesterday I was standing next to my mother in her kitchen while she was carefully frying up some local Niantic Bay Scallops for that nights dinner. My daughter Jen was very young and this was one of her favorite dinners from Grandma's house. Many years ago now I attempted to make them and they were as my daughter would state: "don't taste like Grammies!" Everything was better if Grammy cooked it and I could not win.
Yesterday I decided to give it a go once more. Sometimes you just have to let something that didn't turn out just rest for a while, then attempt it at another time. Of course we are talking many, many years later of letting it rest, but geez give me props for trying!
Finally I achieved success in making these. In fact they turned out just as good, if not better than Mom's - sorry mom but they did.
A pound of these small and luscious scallops yields a great many. With only two of us we loaded up our plates with mounds of french fries and scallops and served them with my home made tartar sauce and a salad on the side. After plating the food I was reminded of the times that we would dine in a seafood restaurant that specializes in fried foods heaped on a platter, so much so, that a doggie bag would be required and bingo - I came up with the name for this dish. It would be known as Captain's Fried Scallop Platter.

There was enough scallops to adequately feed four people, however we were over indulgent. My significant other went for seconds and still there were scallops left over that we wrapped and refrigerated.
The entire dinner including the fries and salad cost me $14.82, feeding four people for $3.70 each.
  • 1 lb. bay scallops
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. half and half or milk
  • 2 cups PLAIN breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • oil for frying
  1. Set up your breading station: put the flour in one, in another whisk together the eggs and half and half or milk and in the third add in the breadcrumbs and spices and mix well.
  2. Dredge the scallops in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Place the scallops on a paper towel lined sheet pan.
  3. Heat your oil up to 350°. I used a deep pot with about 48 ounces of oil.
  4. Fry the french fries first and keep warm under a heat lamp or in a low oven.
  5. Fry the scallops in batches, put them on a paper towel lined plate and keep warm until they are all finished. You only need to fry them for about 45 seconds to a minute and they are perfectly done.
The scallops are sweet and the breading doesn't overpower the scallop. There's just enough crunch and you can seriously eat a ton of them. I went overboard and could have been satisfied with a smaller portion. But let's face it - they were so good I binged. The heaping amount of scallops in the picture was my plate of food! Plus I had a wonderful salad on the side - at least I had one healthy thing I put into my body, right? Actually the fact that these scallops cooked quickly there was very little residual oil at all - the paper towels showed very little and they were not at all greasy to eat. The key is good oil at the right temperature and quick frying.

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