Scallops And Oysters Unshelled

The bounty from the Gulf of Mexico goes beyond its fish. It also includes some very tasty shellfish like scallops and oysters. However, obtaining these tasty delights is slightly different than catching fish. Scallops can only be harvested off Port St. Joe, Florida from July 1 through August 24. This involves diving to find them and scooping them up into bags.

Oysters are harvested in the same manner that they have been for hundreds of years. They are scraped from the shallow bottom of Apalachicola Bay.

Not only is the “catching” different, so is the preparation and the taste. These mouthwatering shellfish are shucked, cut from their shell homes, not filleted.

While eating oysters and scallops, you get the feeling of tropical breezes, slipping over your skin, enticing you to prop up your feet and enjoy. You can get that same feeling in your own kitchen when you try these recipes.

Hot Times – Tasty Scallops

The perfect scallop for the grill is about one inch so they don’t slip through the grate. Also, a little firmness is good because then they won’t stick either. When scallops are grilled just right they are so full of flavor that your taste buds fairly burst for joy.

Hot Times Sauce

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

10 fresh cilantro leaves

Tasty Scallops

20 large sea scallops, about 1-1/2 ounces each

Vegetable oil

Kosher salt

Coarsely ground black pepper

To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, but do not boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon juice. Now set the sauce aside until ready to serve. Add cilantro leaves just before serving.

Rinse the scallops under cold water and pat dry. Remove and discard the small, tough side muscle from each scallop that has one. Brush or spray the scallops on all sides with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Thread the scallops through their sides onto skewers so the scallops lie flat. Grill over direct high heat until just opaque in the center, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once. Serve with sauce.

Beach Time Chef’s Salad

When this tasty dish is sitting in front of you, it transports you to the beach. You can hear the sound of the surf and feel the sand in your toes!

3/4 pound scallops

1 clove garlic, halved

4 cups torn lettuce

3 cups torn romaine

1 cup sliced celery

4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into thin strips

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Thousand Island Dressing

Cook scallops in boiling, salted water for one minute or till scallops are opaque. Drain and chill. Rub a large bowl and salad bowls with cut side of garlic. Then discard the garlic. In the large bowl combine lettuce, romaine, celery, cheese and tomatoes. Top with chilled scallops. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Makes 6 main dish servings.

Oysters In Bathing Suits

Appetizers do not have to be the same old – same old. Try this new, easy twist at your next beach party.

8 slices of bacon

16 shucked oysters

16 saltine crackers

lemon wedges

Cut each bacon slice in half crosswise. Partially cook the bacon, drain on paper toweling. Rinse and drain oysters. Wrap one half slice of partially cooked bacon around each oyster. Secure each with a toothpick.

Place oysters on rack in shallow baking pan. Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or till bacon is crisp and oysters are done. Place open, bacon wrapped oyster on each cracker. Serve with hot lemon wedges. Makes 16 appetizers.

Aunt Effie’s Sweat’n Oyster Stew

You’ll want to crank up the air conditioner to cool down the house so you don’t have to wait until fall to enjoy this special oyster dish. For a twist in this stew, add vegetables.

1 pint shucked oysters

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

1 cup light cream

Dash of hot pepper sauce

Paprika

Butter

In sauce pan combine oysters and their liquid and salt. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or till edges of oysters curl. Stir in milk, cream and pepper sauce, heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with paprika and a pat of butter. Makes 4 servings.

Aunt Effie Adds Vegetables: In a small saucepan, cook 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots and 1/2 cup finely chopped celery in 2 tablespoons butter. Cover for 10 to 15 minutes or till tender. Prepare Oyster Stew as directed above and add vegetable mixture and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce to stew and heat through.

Shuck Them Oysters!!

The shell of an oyster is very useful. They make up the building material called tabby. However, when some shells are polished, their lavender and purple tones come forth. When varnished to a shine, they are beautiful. Who would think that their meat makes such a great appetizer.

Rock salt

12 oysters in shell

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons snipped parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped celery

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach

1/3 cup dried bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash of hot pepper sauce and anise

Fill two glass pie plates 1/2 full of rock salt then sprinkle with water. Shuck oysters and scrub shells. Arrange on rock salt base. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cook and stir onion, parsley, and celery in butter until onion is tender. Mix in remaining ingredients. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of this mixture into shells. Bake ten minutes.

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