Saturday, March 24, 2012

Last Chance Dinner: Peconic Bay Scallops

A friend called me a few nights ago and told me that there was a pound of very fresh bay scallops (pulled from the water that day) waiting for me at his fisherman friend's storefront on Main Street. The next morning I picked them up. They were pristine-- I wish you could breath in their briny aroma from this photo. I rinsed them, removed the little muscle from each one, and stirred them into a pot of risotto. Peconic Bay scallop season ends on March 31st, so I was happy to enjoy this delicacy at such a late date. In case you have a generous fisherman friend who is going out in the next week, here is the recipe:

Peconic Bay Scallop Risotto
Serves 4

2 cups bottled clam juice
4 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound Peconic Bay scallops, rinsed and muscles removed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Ground black pepper

1. Warm the clam juice and broth in a medium saucepan.
2. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, heavy pot.
3. Add the shallot and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring freuquently, until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue to cook, adding the clam juice mixture in 1-cup increments, always stirring, until the rice is al dente. If you run out of liquid, heat up some water and continue to add it to the pot until the rice is done.
4. Stir the scallops and remaining 2 tablespoons butter into the rice, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand until the scallops are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

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