It's been freezing in New York in recent weeks. I've been doing a lot more cooking at home for meals than I normally do: a conscious effort both to reboot the creative juices and to save money on personal food costs. I came across some fresh, plump bay scallops the other day, and had to buy them. My Mom used to make a bay scallop dish when I was growing up, a simple yet utterly satisfying gratin, of sorts. I wanted to recreate that -- and I could practically taste it in my mouth, and see my young Mom, hair curled behind her ears, sprawled out on the kitchen floor to man the broiler while the ramekins of tiny scallops browned. I served this, as my Mom sometimes did, with a blend of wild rice and whole grain brown rice. A nod to the hippie '70's when I first ate the dish? That, and I threw in some dried cranberries and toasted almonds for good 21st century "superfoods" measure. With the addition of some baby arugula tossed with my favorite olive oil from Umbria and a splash of balsamic, I had a great meal. Nostalgic. Homey. Delicious.
Mom's Broiled Scallops:
A serving is a ramekin full, so it depends on the size of the bay scallops and the ramekin itself. A shallow,wider ramekin is best. Wipe the inside of the ramekin(s) with softened butter. Place the scallops in to cover the bottom in one layer. Sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons of white wine. Dot scallops with butter, sprinkle with salt, and top with plenty of seasoned bread crumbs. Broil for 4 minutes or so, until the top has a nice brown crust on it. You might want a little bread on the side to sop up the liquid. It's pretty irresistible.