August 01, 2006

My wife loves me.

But should you ever meet her, I ask that you not repeat this tale.

Anyway, Miss Reba loves me, and that’s why when she went to the grocery store the other day, she picked up a bunch of fresh scallops. Despite the fact that if I were left to my own devices, I would look at the price sticker and, after recovering from my swoon, put them back on the shelf and try to find a way to satisfy my seafood craving with some store-brand fish sticks. Anyway, she still got them, because she knows how much I love scallops. Not as much as her, obviously, but a great deal, nonetheless.

And to make it even better (although, again, more pricey) these were real scallops, not the big (but still tasty to me, at least) fake scallops which tend to be circular plugs taken out of ray or skate wings.

Since she brought them home, I had gotten myself all hungry for them, and looked forward to cooking them. But I was beaten to them. By my wife, Miss Reba, whom I love more than all the scallops in the world. You see, even though Reba is a wonderful cook, she hasn’t quite mastered some things. Broiling a steak in the oven, for instance, about which I’ve spoken of to you before--the process inevitably creates huge clouds of acrid smoke in the house, setting off every smoke alarm.

And another thing, sadly, is scallops.

Scallops don’t like a lot of cooking, because they tend to become rubbery very quickly. I like to cook them by first showing them a hot skillet with some sizzling butter, just to taunt them and make them nervous, then dump them in and swirl them around quickly just until they’re opaque, then serve them up. A little lemon juice, and that’s it. Do it right, and they’ll melt in your mouth and make you think naughty thoughts. However, if you dump them in the pan and let them simmer and stew for ten minutes or so in a sea of salty stuff, they don’t perform quite so well.

My expensive spoonful of scallops arrived hot and coated in a caramelized layer of Old Bay seasoning, and despite being flavorful, they weren’t quite scallops, but more like chewy nubbins of fishspice-flavored Gummi balls. (By the way, she also whipped up some baked tilapia to go with the scallops that was super fantastic, so again, it’s not like she can’t cook.)

“How are they?”

“I love scallops!”

And I do, but not as much as I love my wife. Nor as much as I love a peaceful house.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2006 11:27 AM

Well, at least you didn't say, "Hunh, I thought this was calamari!?!" I suppose some people are afraid of getting sick on undercooked seafood (or maybe any undercooked meat) so that they err on the side of overdone.

Posted by: Marc V at August 1, 2006 12:18 PM

Reminds me of the time my husband got the chance to eat some of the salmon his grandfather had flown all the way to Alaska to catch and carried home on the plane. They cooked it until it was almost white, which is hard to do with a bright orange meat, unless you bake it for hours on end. Justin loves salmon, but he loves his grandparents more. Not that he'll ever eat salmon with them again if he can help it though...

Posted by: Jordana at August 1, 2006 03:31 PM

I'm just glad I knew what it was supposed to be scallops, Marc.

And Jordana, I think I like my scallops better than Justin liked his salmon!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2006 03:50 PM

Jordana, I think your right. Fear of raw or rare fish hits alot of cooks. Anyway the test of a good cook or restaurant is how they do eggs and seafood. Both are acid in their brutal honesty. BTW Terry IMO a touch of a good white wine in the sauce helps. And it's good for the stomach.

Posted by: Tony von Krag at August 1, 2006 04:43 PM

I'm hungry again. ::shakes fist at Chef Tony::

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2006 04:49 PM

I guess I shouldn't tell you I'm doing up some BBQ catfish? No, I guess not. What was that? Well yes I am a Evil Chef®, you to can join, Dues are only 49.99 a month, just send them to me and I'll take care of it.

Posted by: Tony von Krag at August 1, 2006 07:24 PM

[Gomer Pyle] Mean thang, mean thang, mean THANG! [/Gomer Pyle]

Speaking of catfish, I mentioned to Dr. Smith and Steevil that one of Reba's best dishes is catfish baked in salsa. Hard to beat it.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 1, 2006 09:04 PM