I struggle with cooking scallops at home. I can never quite get them to sear the way they do in restaurants and I lament when I fail because they are so expensive. Water seems to pour from them despite the pan temp and this inhibits browning. I bought some beautiful scallops on Saturday the Farmer’s Market from Poppa’s Fresh Fish. I had never heard of fresh frozen “dry” scallops but my local seafood authority from Poppa’s Fresh Fish “splained” it to me. Most scallops are injected with water before freezing to be transported. This causes all the liquid to bleed when cooking. The “dry” method does not use water; supposedly eliminating the runny liquid effect while cooking…
Saute 2 tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of garlic slowly over low heat. Pat scallops dry to remove residual liquid and pepper to taste. Add to pan when oil and garlic is hot and before allowing it to smoke. Turn scallops when brown on first side and squeeze juice of one half lemon. Cook until second side is seared and scallops are at desired temp. Remove scallops from pan and add about one shot of small batch bourbon( like Willett Small Pot Reserve) to pan to deglaze. Pour resulting pan juices over scallops and ENJOY!
I make it a point to buy as much of my food as possible at my Local Farmer’s Market, the Little Italy Mercato. Every Saturday from 9-1:30 on Date Street, from Kettner to Union, you’ll find some incredible local offerings.
Today I stopped off to sample fresh Sea Urchin at Poppa’s Fresh Fish, a regular at the Little Italy Mercato. I appreciate their motto:
“If it we any fresher. you would be under water!”
True that!!! Poppa’s has a killer selection of fresh fish that they source and prepare for sale at local farmer’s markets. For the first hour at each market they have “Oyster Happy Hour” and that translates to yummy oysters, shucked on the spot for only $1.25 each. I call them “Breakfast of Champions” and I am not the only one. There is a cue on Saturday mornings to get them!
You can check out their website here>>> http://www.poppasfreshfish.com/
They have a listing of the local farmer’s markets you can find them at!
Now back to the Sea Urchin…
“we crack’em, we clean’em and you eat’em, right out of the shell!!!”
That’s what they say on the website and Holy Fresh Goodness they aren’t kidding! For $9 you get the freshest Sea Urchin you will ever taste. I kid not people. For those who are already fans at the sushi bar, the taste and texture are familiar but the flavor is different because they are so fresh. For the Sea Urchin Virgin, I recommend trying them this way. The taste is salty on the palate at the beginning and then transitions to a beautiful buttery finish. The texture of this fresh Sea Urchin is custard-like and it just melts in your mouth.
I think one of the best things about stopping at Poppa’s Fresh Fish is watching people stop to look at the Sea Urchin. Many don’t know what it actually looks like when it is in the sea. Some have never even heard of it. The looks on their faces are priceless! Even better is seeing their surprise when they take their first taste and realize that it is absolutely delicious!
Some Sea Urchin Virgins!
If you live in San Diego and have a chance to visit the Little Italy Mercato, please stop by Poppa’s Fresh Fish. I encourage you to sample the Sea Urchin! It does not get any fresher than this…
Don’t forget to shop local when possible!