When I lived in Panama City, Florida, I used to go snorkeling in the bay for scallops. Since moving away from the beach, I had not been scalloping again until this past summer when Jill, Jill’s sister, and I met up with my parents in Port St. Joe for a day of snorkeling and scalloping.
After snorkeling around at a couple of different sites without finding scallops, we finally reached a part of the bay full of them. We swam, collected scallops, and generally had a great time. Back at home, I shelled and cleaned the scallops.
Wanting to share the bounty of scallops, I invited several friends over for a scallop dinner. The menu included scallops, steak, crispy bread, and a warm spinach salad.
For the bread, I sliced a multigrain baguette lengthwise, drizzled the slices with olive oil, and topped the slices with salt, pepper, garlic, dried basil, and dried oregano. I then baked the slices at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
I marinated the steak in a mixture of bourbon, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. After marinating, I cooked the steak in a skillet to medium doneness.
In another skillet, I cooked several slices of bacon until crispy, reserving the bacon. I scored the scallops with a sharp knife and sprinkled the scallops with a little salt, pepper, and Chinese five spice power. I then cooked the scallops in the bacon grease until slightly firm.
For the spinach salad, I heated up a drizzle of olive oil and tossed in several handfuls of spinach, turning until slightly wilted. After seasoning lightly with salt and pepper, I removed the spinach, added crumbled bacon, and mixed in some soledad almonds.
As much I can, I like to have a connection between the food I eat and the place my food is grown or caught. Swimming in the ocean and catching deliciously sweet bay scallops by hand provides a deep connection to the food. With a meal that balanced land and sea with the crunch of crispy bread and the softness of the warm spinach salad, I am anxiously waiting for scallop season to open up again.