I may be able to cook and type again, but that doesn't mean my head is entirely back in the game. Case in point: Santa Maria has been doing the marketing from our ongoing shopping list, but I haven't been doing the planning. She's bought things we've run out of, not things we need. So yesterday, I was faced with the task of making dinner without any fresh protein.
Luckily, I had some frozen bay scallops on hand, and I knew they could be the centerpiece of a meal. The scallops were from Henry & Lisa's, and they're not bad. They're nothing like fresh bay scallops, of course, but fresh bay scallops are hardly available anymore. These scallops came from Argentina, according to the stamp on the bag. In the eighties, as a student, I worked in a retail fish market for years, and back then you could eat them raw out of the case like they were penny candy. That's how sweet they were. Henry and Lisa's work just fine, although I throw out the Japanese glaze that comes with the package.
I first thought of pairing the scallops with frozen peas and some rice, but that was way too boring. I had a bag of spinach on hand and figured I could combine that with some garlic and pasta and have a, more or less, one-pot meal.
18 0z frozen scallops
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 shake of crushed red peppers (or to taste)
linguine, or other long pasta
Boil the water for the pasta. Salt the water. Cook the pasta.
Heat a large frying pan until it is smoking, add olive oil
toss in scallops so they are in one layer. do not move.
allow scallops to cook almost all the way through on one side to assure a carmelized edge
toss scallops with a spatula to complete their cooking
Remove to a bowl.
saute garlic in the same frying pan
cook until it wilts (add some pasta water if need be)
by this time the pasta should be finished. Drain and toss with spinach and the cooked scallops.