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fabulous fresh scallops

Over the years the availability of fresh seafood has diminished greatly. The once fresh and flapping prawns of the early 80’s have long since vanished and along with that live scallops. A couple of months ago I was astonished and depressed, to be told by my fishmonger that the scallops only came frozen, from Japan, Thailand and China and I could take my pick. Last week my oyster supplier Atlanta Oysters tantalised me with “interested in live scallops? ” After all these years they know how to tease me and the immediate question was “from where? ” To my absolute delight nearby Kangaroo Island! As a chef I have always tried to buy local but the truth is in my mind I have been counting food mile credits for most of my cooking career. That means easily justifying chocolate from Belgium, coffee from Africa and Mexico and occasionally luxury items like truffles, saffron and caviar. With so many chefs talking about “closing the gates” putting down the 100km radius for food sourcing I am glad to live in South Australia where we do better than most with seafood, meat and fresh produce. I could live with a 200km radius and still be satisfied with the produce I had to cook with.

My childhood was blessed with six weeks, the summer school holidays, with my grandparents in the Victorian seaside village of Queenscliff. In those days completely ungentrified it was paradise for my brother and I. Our grandmother had but one rule and that was we had to be home by dark. When the weather wasn’t good enough for swimming we often rode all day with one of our uncles who owned the ferry between Queenscliff and Portsea. Going backwards and forwards our only tasks were to collect the tickets and lie about how long the uncle spent in the Port Sea pub. Another uncle owned a scallop boat and used to chase us around the deck making them yap at us, to finally take out his pocketknife, prize one open and feed it to us raw from the tip of his knife. It registered with me the other day when making scallop sashimi, that that occasion must have been the first time I had eaten raw seafood. It also registered with me just how much more work is involved in serving the preferred fresh as against processed seafood and it will be a testament to which Adelaide restaurants really care, as to how often we will see them on menus.
They are small, they are more work and more expensive than an oyster but they are just superb sweet, firm and translucent. The work part is opening and cleaning them, the easy part is cooking them, they virtually take a couple of minutes if you bother to cook them at all. They are sold by the kilo and you get about 14 depending on size.

If you’re South Australian and want to buy scallops of this freshness and quality
contact Paul Polacco +61 401 287 109 to find out more!Most importantly know what a fresh scallop looks like!!!


Grilled scallops click here
Scallop Sashimi click here
Scallop and leek pasta sauce click here
Salmon, scallop lemon beurre blanc — new 12 December, 2011click here

cleaning the scallops
not essential but very handy, a very thick rubber or, even better a mesh glove
a thick sponge or recessed block of wood
a wet cloth
very sharp oyster knife

Put the sponge or wood block on the wet cloth, and sit a scallop rounded side down on top. Insert the knife from the side and pressing hard against the flat side of the scallop slide the knife back, twist it and lift the hinge to open the scallop. Discard the flat side. Scrape in the membrane that runs almost to the edge of the shell and cut the scallop from the shell. Working carefully and with the help of a small sharp knife remove everything except the scallop meat and roe. Rinse the shell and the scallop and roe and return it to the shell.

the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
Ann Oliver

champagne editor
Kaaren Palmer


Jan Bowman
Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

Olivia Stratton Makris
Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

Michael Martin…Northern America 2016.Photographic assistance Kym Martin…Adelaide based.

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copyright © text, recipes and images Ann Oliver & Kaaren Palmer 2016.