I wanted to make salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner last night, but I didn't like the look of the wild Salmon at Fairway and won't buy farmed anymore. Instead, they had bright looking dry wild sea scallops, and I picked up three-quarters of a pound for the two of us along with a dozen little neck clams so I could make some spaghetti with clam sauce to serve with them.
Like Julia Reed, "to me shrimp is the ur-seafood - to eat it is to taste the essence of the ocean" (from the chapter called Bighearted Shrimp in Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties.)
But I think sea scallops are a close second.
I got home and was going over the grocery receipt, and when I saw the entry Sea Scallops-Wet, I did a double take and thought "That must be wrong."
And, thank goodness, it was.
They cooked so well and tasted so good, it was clear these really were wild, natural scallops that had never been in contact with phosphate, and even though I totally forgot to make and serve tartar sauce with them, Walter declared them delicious.
I also forgot to take a picture, so you will get the recipe for the scallops the next time I make them - which will probably be soon - when I'll be sure to snap a shot of them.
But I do have something to tell you about.
It's my not-so-secret, but very guilty, pleasure. I'm sure everyone has one. Molly sometimes eats Cool Ranch Doritos. Perhaps Alice Waters likes to drink Champagne and eat (homemade heirloom) potato chips before 9:00 a.m. I don't know. But I do know what mine is.
It's Kraft Deli-Deluxe American Cheese.
It's not Kraft Singles. The slices cannot be wrapped piece by piece. The cheese slices must be all "stuck" together.
You can get them in a package that has slices that are 1 ounce apiece and in another package that has slices that are 2/3 of a ounce apiece.
2/3 ounce apiece
1 ounce apiece
I have no idea why that would be, and I pretty much buy whichever package is available when I run out.
I do two things with this cheese, which I refuse to call a product since I like it so much.
I make scrambled eggs, and I make cheese toast - not at the same time.
Deli-Deluxe Scrambled Eggs for 1
2 free-range large eggs
1 slice Kraft Deli-Deluxe Cheese
A hazelnut size lump of unsalted butter
A little black pepper if you like
Wash the eggs, dry them, and crack them into a small bowl. Beat with a fork until they are well blended. Heat an 8-inch frying pan, and melt the little lump of butter in it. (I only use a non-stick pan for two things - these scrambled eggs and manicotti crepes.)
Take the slice of cheese, and tear it into small pieces, dropping them into the eggs as you go along. When the butter is foaming, add the eggs and cheese, turn the heat down low, and start stirring. I use a wooden fork I got at Bridge Kitchenware a million years ago when Fred Bridge was still alive. Stir until the eggs are set the way you like them - I like mine creamy. Remember that when you turn off the heat, the eggs will still cook a little, and the cheese will continue to melt, so don't overcook them to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper if you like. There is enough salt in the cheese that I don't find I need to add more.
Now I am not going to tell you that these are the best scrambled eggs in the world, but they are good.
Not Really a Recipe for Cheese Toast
If I have it, I use a piece of Bread Alone's excellent Organic Whole Grain Health Bread.
Take 1 slice of cheese, and put it on the bread, folding the corners so they are not hanging over the edge of the bread.
Toast it in a toaster oven.
Don't burn your mouth when you eat it!