Under typical circumstances, offers of seafood from a lone vehicle in a gas station parking lot would have sent up an immediate red flag. But the brightly hand-painted signs promising Kodiak scallops and Alaskan shrimp propped up next to a pickup truck last week were surprisingly reassuring, as was the salesman, who identified the origin and method of harvest for each of his goods. I walked away with 2 1/2 pounds of shrimp and almost 2 pounds of scallops which were local, had lived well, and were free of chemicals, pesticides and shelf-life stabilizers.
When I got my little gems home, I looked up a few different recipes, but ultimately decided to freestyle dinner. First, I had to do something with the shrimp. Most of my shrimp cooking experience has included a frozen bag of EZ peelers, but these mamas needed a bit more work. They had been de-headed and de-veined, but still retained copious numbers of legs and eggs.
After some experimentation, I ended up snipping down the back of each carapace with some kitchen scissors. The meat came out easily after that, even if it was a bit labor intensive to cut a slit in each individual shrimp.
I diced up some bacon and cooked it about half way on the stove, then added some sliced zucchini and green onions. I threw in the shrimp and seasoned it all with sea salt, pepper, thyme and garlic.
For the scallops, I heated up an empty pan. I coated the scallops with avocado oil, and sprinkled them with sea salt and pepper. There were so many scallops, I had to sear them in three batches, about 45 seconds on each side.
I ended up with more scallops than I’ve ever seen at once! I’ve never liked ordering shellfish in restaurants, because the quantity is always disappointing. There was no skimping on shrimp and scallops at our house that night.
I made up a basic risotto for a carby treat, and served us up! Si wasn’t convinced that this meal was anything special, but John was impressed. Restaurant shellfish lacks both quantity AND quality, it turns out. The scallops were tender and moist, and the shrimp tasted so fresh. There are certainly some perks that come with living at the source.