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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Scallop Sauce with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Hot Pepper - Gutsy Cooks Club

My last July recipe--finished, in the nick of time, on July 31, but, alas, not posted until August 1.  Now I'm ready for the August recipes, which look intriguing.

I was so looking forward to this scallop sauce!  I love scallops, and seasoning them just with olive oil, garlic, hot peppers, and parsley, seemed like Italian genius.  Toss them with bread crumbs and spaghettini--genius squared.

But I didn't love the sauce.  Two reasons, one definitely my fault.  First, I was overly zealous with the hot peppers.  I used dried hot pepper flakes, and put in a good heaping teaspoon.  Well, I do love pasta sauces seasoned with hot pepper.  As with so many things, more is not better.  The pepper overwhelmed everything else, including the garlic that smelled so good when it was browning in olive oil.

The second flaw in the sauce was using bay scallops instead of sea scallops.  This happened because the man who volunteered to go to the fish store was on a mission to buy scallops, and didn't think about his choices.  (My fault for not telling him).  When the guy at the fish store asked him, "large or small?", Jim must have looked panicked.  The guy asked him what it was for, and Jim said it was a pasta sauce.  The guy told him confidently that he wanted small scallops.  Reasonable, except that it happens that I don't like bay scallops because it's almost impossible to cook them without turning them into tough white disks.  Even though they cooked for a mere 90 seconds, some of them were still tough, possibly because they stayed in the hot oil even after the heat was turned off.

Which, now that I think of it, leads me to reason #3 for the less than stellar sauce:  I started cooking the spaghetti and the sauce at about the same time, but I shouldn't have started the sauce until the spaghetti was done, or almost done.

It would be better a second time, but I don't have the heart to try it again.


Jim:  I'll give it a 7.  Not great, but pretty good.  It does have too much pepper in it.

Me:  You're giving it a C minus?  I thought you liked it.

Jim:  A 7 isn't a C-.

[Discussion ensued about what the 10-point system was all about, and if one or both of us has been misusing it for years, with Jim pointing out that we might as well have a 5-point rating system if 5 is the lowest grade we're going to give.]

Jim:  OK, then, I'll give it an 8.

Me:  I'll give it a 7.

1 comment:

  1. Loved tthis recipe Marie. Thanks for bringing it to us.