Every summer my husband and I spend a long weekend on Cape Cod, just a few hours' drive from our home in western Massachusetts. Although we enjoy browsing in the many bookshops and antiques stores there and are dazzled by the breathtaking views of the ocean, we are even more enthusiastic about the fresh seafood.
My spouse, an avid fan of lobster, could have it at every meal, while I love the fried scallop rolls served in many of the restaurants. In fact, each year I insist that we travel to Orleans' Rock Harbor where a modest spot on the water serves these incredible sandwiches. They are made with fresh sea scallops that are cut into bite-sized pieces, then coated with flour and deep fried. These morsels are mounded on lightly toasted sandwich rolls and served with tartar sauce.
From the first taste, I am in heaven. I love biting into the slightly crunchy exterior of the scallops, then discovering the velvety-smooth texture beneath. And the sweetness of this shellfish is complemented by the sharpness of fresh tartar sauce.
On more than one occasion I have resolved to make the sandwich rolls at home to use when entertaining casually, but only recently have I tried reproducing them.
Now I can't wait to serve these scallop rolls for an early fall lunch to out-of-town friends who will be visiting us. Because the sandwiches are not fancy fare, I plan to keep the side dishes and dessert uncomplicated. Corn-on-the-cob plus a platter of sliced tomatoes drizzled with red wine vinegar and olive oil and sprinkled with herbs will make simple side dishes. Slices of ice cold watermelon will complete our Cape Cod meal.
Distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, a division of Tribune Media Services.
Cape Cod Fried Scallop Rolls
Makes 4 servings
2 / 3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
16 large sea scallops (about 1 pound), side muscles removed, each scallop cut into 4 equal pieces
4 sliced sandwich rolls (hot- dog-style buns with crustless sides), lightly toasted
tartar sauce (recipe follows)
Fill heavy, medium saucepan with enough oil to come to 3 inches up the sides. Heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking (about 365 degrees if using a deep-frying thermometer).
Meanwhile, spread flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate and stir to mix well. Place milk in a bowl. Dip scallops in the milk. Remove and drain in a colander.
Coat scallops, a handful at a time, in flour mixture. When oil is ready, spread several thicknesses of paper towels on work surface for draining cooked scallops. Use slotted spoon to transfer handful of the scallops to saucepan. Oil will sizzle and bubble immediately. Cook scallops until golden brown, stirring occasionally, only 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Continue until all scallops have been cooked.
Divide scallops evenly among toasted buns. Serve with bowl of tartar sauce for spreading on scallops. Serve immediately.
Quick Tartar Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup regular or reduced-fat (not nonfat) mayonnaise
6 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons chopped capers, drained
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
In nonreactive bowl, stir together mayonnaise, pickle, parsley, onion, capers, mustard and lemon juice. Taste and, if you want a tarter taste, add additional lemon juice.