It’s scallop season once again on Long Island. Local fishermen are bringing in bushel after bushel every day. The season runs through late December. You’ll be able to get them at some of your local restaurants and seafood markets. They cost more than the usual frozen scallops from China, which are available year–round, but there’s really no comparison. The taste and the texture say “home.”
In 2005 the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Marine Program and Long Island University partnered with Suffolk County to create a large spawner sanctuary in hopes of bringing back the local Peconic Bay scallops. These tasty bites were virtually wiped out. The program put out a total of one million first–year scallops in a small area so they can foster an effective spawn. The spawn will travel with the currents all over the waters of Long Island. Chris Smith, Senior Extension Educator CCE notes that, “The genesis of the bay scallop program really came from the devastating loss of scallops due to the brown tide in 1985 through 1990. And a multimillion dollar industry that employed literally hundreds and hundreds of people disappeared within a few years.” This year’s crop is not as big as usual and some of the scallops being cultivated are being sold in their shell. They are normally shucked and sold by the pound. These nonnative scallops emerge between August and late October.
Scallop season is officially underway. The limit for each fisherman is 10 bushels and 20 bushels for a boat. For recreational purposes you are able to collect one bushel. You’ll need a permit, which can be obtained for $50.
The price of these scallops can range from $20 to $30 dollars a pound. A pound of scallops could easily feed up to six people.
You’re probably curious about where to get these delicious scallops. Here are just a few suggestions: Braun Seafood Company, located on Main Road (Route 25) in Cutchogue has these available to buy raw. Two other places you’ll want to check out are Cor-J and Tully’s in Hampton Bays.
Now that you’ve decided to get your Peconic scallops, you should give some thought to what to do with them. You don’t have to be a world-renowned chef to make a great scallop dinner. Take it from this local and follow this easy recipe: Zest one lemon, pull the leaves off a sprig of thyme, juice two lemons and one orange. Add to this a small amount of olive oil and whisk it all together in a bowl. This will give you the dressing. Put a large skillet on the stove on high, and add a bit of canola oil. Lightly salt and pepper fresh scallops and put about half in the pan. Let them rest in there for about 30 seconds. For the next 15 seconds, shake them around a little. Then remove from pan and set aside. Add the rest of the scallops to the pot. Once you’re done with that, add all the scallops to the bowl of dressing. Serve with parsley leaves, sunflower seeds and the frisée. Enjoy.
These scallops are going fast—so what are you waiting for?
Braun’s, 30840 Main Road, Cutchogue, 631-734-6700
Cor-J, 36 Lighthouse Rd, Hampton Bays,
Tully’s, 78 Foster Ave, Hampton Bays, 631-728-9043