Peconic Bay scallop season is upon us. So many wonderful events take place at the same time on Long Island—we can’t be everywhere! Shellabration Festival on the North Fork is one such event we missed, so we opted to make our own.
It’s not easy to locate Peconic Bay Scallops in the shell. After exploring various markets and running into many dead ends, we got a tip to go see Charlie at Southold Fish Market.
As soon as we entered, we knew we were in the right place. There was a huge table with five or six people just shucking away. Piles and piles of beautiful Peconic Bay scallops as far as the eye could see. Dare we say they looked like they enjoyed it.
Sy graciously offered to show us how to open our own scallops. He made it look so easy. Spoiler alert: There’s a learning curve, but it is fun! Charlie, the owner, couldn’t be more accommodating. He explained to us that this year was a really big year for scallops, and it gave the waters a chance to regenerate clams, which is really good for our ecosystem. We couldn’t leave without buying lots of other delicious goodies made by them. Southold Fish Market is top of the line.
When we got back to TLF test kitchen, we started shucking and got to work preparing scallops. Sure, we mangled a few, but we just ate those raw. Win-win.
We decided to start with the simplest possible form somewhere between a crudo and ceviche. We experimented with key limes, lemons, limes, and ultimately our favorite: blood orange with a dash of fresh-pressed Sicilian olive oil, a few pomegranate seeds, fennel fronds, Amagansett sea salt, and…Yum!
We had a bottle of Wölffer gin that was beautiful and pink hued, and knowing that juniper goes well with scallops, we decided to experiment with that. We melted some grass-fed butter, threw in a dash of gin, tossed in some scallops and sautéed, added some fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, then topped with some Amagansett sea salt, and again… it was delicious.
When it comes to these delectably sweet scallops, simple is best and seasonal ingredients, as always, seem to get along swimmingly.