Great ingredients make for great meals. Whenever you can, use the highest quality supplies for your recipes. The flavor difference will always come through in your finished dish.
If there is an ingredient that you are not familiar with, check our Ingredient section. There are pages and pages of information about the ingredients used in my recipes.
Scallops are a bivalve mollusk like clams and mussels. The scallop that you buy at the fish market is actually the muscle that holds the two shells together.
Bay scallops are a smaller species of scallop and the best are harvested on the east coast of the United States. The Atlantic Bay Scallop is small - about a half inch in diameter and is sweeter and more delicate than the larger Sea Scallop.
Most Atlantic scallops are found in the bays of Cape Cod ranging south to Long Island. Finding good quality New England scallops outside of that region can be a challenge. They are best very fresh and if you find them and they are fresh, drop what you are doing, buy them, take them home and cook them.
Because much of the population of bay scallops were killed off by toxic algae in the 1980s these are much more difficult to find and are quite expensive. As a result, many of the bay scallops available are actually calico scallops harvested in the warmer southern waters of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Many of scallops sold on the west coast as bay scallops are calicos but they are a different breed from bay or sea scallops. They are slightly smaller and not as sweet or as tender as Atlantic bay scallops.
As with sea scallops the flesh of bay scallops should be a translucent beige or creamy color. If the scallops are white, they have been soaked in water and likely other preservatives. Avoid these as scallops can actually absorb about 40% of their weight in water.
4 ounces bay scallops = 100 calories, <1g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 19g protein, 3g carbohydrates, 182mg sodium, 37mg cholesterol
Fish vs. Mercury
I get asked this question pretty regularly: "I know I should eat fish, but what about the mercury contamination?"
Fish vs. Fish Oil Capsules
We know that eating fish that are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can have a profound effect on your health, from bones to brain to heart. A couple of years ago I reported on several studies comparing the effects of eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids with the effects of those oils in capsule form.
Eat Fish, Eat Well, Think Better
I have written many times about the benefits of eating fish at least a couple of times a week. Most of the studies so far have been "retrospective" where researchers look back at information and work to draw conclusions. There have been such studies about the association of fish consumption and Alzheimer's Disease, but a group of researchers report on a prospective study in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Are you eating the right kind of fish?
I've written extensively about the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and their impact on heart health. Similarly, certain plant sterols (unsaturated fatty acids found in plants) can also have a positive impact on your risk of cardiovascular disease. Is there a combination of the right types of plant sterols and types of fish that will yield the most protective results?