After being really disappointed in seafood appetizers/snacks in various bars and restaurants, I decided to putz about a bit in the kitchen and see if I could do better than the deep-fried batter piles that most places shove across the bar at you. So, here we go!
As per my usual, I like to have my stuff out and assembled before beginning:
The stuff is pretty straightforward and common. The scallops are of course better fresh, but if you live someplace where that just ain't happening this time of year, frozen works too. I used IQF (individually quick frozen) bay scallops...some prefer the larger sea scallops, but I prefer the flavor and consistency of the little guys, and they cook faster too.
Here's the list:
I use 25 scallops cause that's what fits on my little baking rack comfortably....that's just over 4 ounces on my scale.
3-4 tablespoons all purpose flour
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter (will be melted)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (italian can work too, but they don't stick as well)
salt, pepper, spices to taste ( I use some old bay, that's about it)
Step one, thaw the damn scallops. Gotta do that part first.
Second, after patting them dry, I stick them on a plate and season them with a bit of salt, some fresh black pepper, and some Old Bay:
Now, lay out some disposable paper bowls with your ingredients portioned out for a quick, assembly-line type workflow...flour, butter, then breadcrumbs, finally the rack;
I use rubber gloves to avoid getting club fist. Work in batches, 3-5 at a time. Roll them in the flour, shake off the excess. Dunk them into the melted butter, coat (hey, I didn't say anything about healthy, I said tasty), into the breadcrumbs...coat lightly and place on the rack:
Pop them into a preheated 400ish degree oven for about 20 minutes. I turn mine at least once to make sure, cause my oven is an old piece of shit that doesn't heat real evenly.
At the end, you get this!
GBD, my friends....golden brown and delicious. Crunchy, crispy, LIGHT flavor, but the scallop isn't lost. Me and the wife wipe out this whole batch in about 5 minutes.
These are a bit messy to make, but really tasty and different. Plus, an appetizer that people will ask where you bought...my favorite kind. Bonus: NOT GREASY AT ALL.
Lots of room to play with heat (cayenne/red pepper flakes), spice/flavor combos (curry power, rosemary, oregano/basil, you name it). Whatever your palate desires on a given night, you can easily use here and bake it in. Pretty much anything on your spice rack will stick to these, and that leaves a LOT of room to play around.