Seafood Feast

Last week, I had to use up another Groupon before it expired.  I had $50 to spend at Hills Seafood.  I was really excited when I got this one (I paid $25) because $50 of seafood is a lot more than I normally get to spend!

By the request of Dave, the first thing I picked out was a bag of 50 Littleneck Clams.  In the case right next to the clams were these beautiful giant Dry Packed Sea Scallops.  They were just calling out my name, so I had to buy a pound of those too.  I grabbed a container of their Lobster Bisque, and ordered a quarter of a pound of their Hungarian Salmon Salad.  I had to get a few Large Cooked Shrimp too, because I love eating them in Cocktail Sauce while I cook.

There is one thing you should know about my selection… I had no idea what I was doing!  I have never steamed my own clams before, and more importantly, I have never cooked my own scallops before!  I decided to do a quick search of a recipe for my scallops and based mine off of one I found online called “Thai Scallops”.

Scallops getting the marinade treatment! Look how big they were!

Clams ready to be soaked and cleaned

But, first things first, I got my clams soaking in some water with cornstarch to clean them out.  I let them soak for a half hour while I prepared the marinade for the scallops.  The large scallops went into a freezer bag with the first five ingredients (Low Sodium Soy, Lime Juice, Sesame Oil, Sugar, & Sriracha).  I also snuck some Red Pepper Flakes in there.  After sealing the bag, I placed it in the refrigerator for about a half hour.

The beginnings of a delicious steaming broth for the clams

Next, I washed off each clam and rinsed them until there was no more cornstarch residue.  Any clams you find that are crushed or already open, toss out.  I grabbed a big pot and prepared a broth to steam the clams.  First, I melted about 3 tablespoons of butter in the pot.  Next, I put in a chopped onion and sautéed until it was soft and translucent.  In went my spices- Red Pepper flakes, a Bay Leaf, some dried Parsley, and a teaspoon of Minced Garlic.  After about a minute, I filled the pot up with water until it just reached the bottom of the steamer.  While I was waiting for the broth to boil, I put the Lobster Bisque in another pot on the stove and started to prepare the sauce for the scallops.

First, I removed the scallops from the marinade and poured the marinade into a bowl.   I then added the cornstarch stirring with a whisk and added about ½ cup of water.  Next, the watery sauce went into a saucepan over medium-high heat.  With the whisk, I stirred the sauce constantly and once it was brought to a boil, I turned the temp down to medium-low and simmered for about a minute or two until it became thicker.  You will definitely be able to tell when it’s ready!

While the sauce was coming to a boil, I cooked the scallops.  I heated the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  I placed the scallops carefully in the hot oil.  Since my scallops were pretty thick, I cooked them for about 4-5 minutes then flipped them and cooked them for another 5 minutes or so.  I was very careful because I didn’t want them to become chewy and tough- something that happens when you overcook scallops!

As if I wasn’t already doing enough, while cooking the scallops and making the sauce, I steamed the clams!  It was so easy.  Once the broth came to a boil, I put all 50 clams onto the steamer and shut the lid.  I let them be for about 7 minutes.  When I checked on them, most of them were open so I let them steam for another minute… then they were done!

With a lot of plating to do at the same time (yessssssssssss!  Success!), Dave and my Dad helped by slicing some French Bread and melting butter for the clams.  I poured the hot “Thai” Sauce over the scallops and topped each with a sprinkle of Sesame Seeds and some Cilantro.  We strained the broth the clams steamed in and put it into a bowl to dip the bread in.  Dinner time!

My first steamed clams

Asian Scallops with some fresh Cilantro

... look how gorgeous! They were even served on a "scalloped" dish! hehe

The scallops were cooked perfectly, I was so impressed with myself.  I love scallops and always order them when I’m out but until now, have been too intimidated to try to cook them myself.  I’m so glad I did!  Next time, I will just try to sear them without the marinade.  I definitely was a little heavy-handed with the soy and it didn’t taste Thai at all… but it was still yummy!

The clams were great, my Dad and Dave were happy with them.  It was really cool, you could totally taste the spices in the broth while you were eating the clams… not to mention how delicious it was to dip the bread into!

The Lobster Bisque… made by Hills Seafood… was spectacular as always.  I’m glad we split it three ways, I don’t even want to think about how awful it was for me!

Here they are in recipe form, if you’re feeling adventurous!

Asian Marinated Sea Scallops

¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

1 tablespoon Sugar

½ teaspoon Sriracha Hot Sauce

1 ½ teaspoons Cornstarch

2 teaspoons Olive Oil

Fresh Cilantro

Black Sesame Seeds (or regular, I happened to have black!)

Lime Wedges

1.  Marinate 1lb Scallops in a freezer bag with the first five ingredients.  Seal and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, flipping once.

2.  Remove the scallops from the bag and place the marinade in a bowl.  Slowly stir the cornstarch into the marinade bowl and stir with a whisk.  Add about ½ cup of water and continue to stir.

3.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Once the oil is hot, carefully place the scallops into the pan.

4.  Cook the scallops for 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on the size.  You can see how far it is cooked if you look on the side of the scallop.  You do NOT want to overcook these babies!

5.  Flip the scallop and cook another 4-5 minutes.

6.  Meanwhile, heat the marinade in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat and simmer for a minute or two until it becomes thicker and stir occasionally.

7.  Once the scallops are finished cooking, top them with the asian sauce and the optional garnish.  Enjoy!

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