A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Seared Scallop Pasta with Almonds Lump Crab Salad Clam Chowder Fried Oyster Salad with Lemon Balsamic Dressing Seared Scallop Pasta with Almonds Yield: 4 servings. Sauce: ½ cup fresh lemon

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Seared Scallop Pasta with Almonds Lump Crab Salad Clam Chowder Fried Oyster Salad with Lemon Balsamic Dressing Seared Scallop Pasta with Almonds Yield: 4 servings. Sauce: ½ cup fresh lemon

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Seared Scallop Pasta with Almonds Lump Crab Salad Clam Chowder Fried Oyster Salad with Lemon Balsamic Dressing Seared Scallop Pasta with Almonds Yield: 4 servings. Sauce: ½ cup fresh lemon

Here’s the Catch: 4 Seafood Recipes



Seared Scallop Pasta with Almonds

Yield: 4 servings.

Sauce:
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup vegetable or seafood stock
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt

Almond Topping:
1 cup slivered almonds
Zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil

Scallops:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ pounds large dry-pack sea scallops
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked per package directions
Fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
4 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted (for garnish)

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, stock, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

Place 1 cup almonds in a food processor and pulse until all almonds appear to be chopped. Add lemon zest and olive oil, and pulse to a thick paste consistency. Set aside.

Add the sauce mixture to a skillet over medium heat and cook until sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet (cast iron preferred), warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Season both sides of scallops with salt and black pepper and add to hot pan. Once scallops are in hot skillet, don’t move them around. Cook 2 minutes per side, until golden brown on the outside and opaque/cooked through on the inside.

Place cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl. Spoon sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Divide pasta among 4 plates or bowls and arrange scallops on top. Spoon almond paste topping over pasta and scallops. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and reserved toasted slivered almonds.


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Lump Crab Salad

Yield: 4 servings.

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 pound fresh lump crab meat
2 heads butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Fold in dill and crab. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Arrange lettuce on 4 plates. Divide the crab mixture and place on top. Sprinkle green onions over top. Place eggs and tomatoes decoratively on plates and serve.


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Clam Chowder

Yield: 6 servings.

5 dozen littleneck or cherrystone clams, scrubbed, or 3 (6.5-ounce) cans minced clams, drained and liquid reserved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup carrots, diced
1 bay leaf
¾ cup butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half
8 ounces or 1 cup clam juice or reserved stock
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1½ teaspoons salt
Black pepper to taste

If using fresh clams, place clams and 1 cup of water in a large pot. Cover and cook over high heat for 6 to 7 minutes. Uncover and remove all open clams. Cover and continue cooking unopened clams for 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove pot from heat and discard any unopened clams. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Reserve liquid. Coarsely chop clams and set aside.

In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, potatoes, carrots, and bay leaf. Add water to cover and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in half-and-half and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Pour mixture into pot with vegetables, stirring constantly. Add clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil.

Stir in clams just before serving. When clams are heated through, stir in hot sauce and season with salt and pepper.


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Fried Oyster Salad with Lemon Balsamic Dressing

Yield: 4 servings.

Lemon Balsamic Dressing:
½ cup balsamic glaze
Juice from 2 lemons
2 small cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon fish sauce (optional)

Oysters:
Vegetable oil (for frying)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
cup whole buttermilk
1 tablespoon hot sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
24 raw oysters, drained and patted dry on paper towels

Salad:
8 cups mixed baby greens, washed and patted dry
6 slices crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled (for garnish)
¼ red onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Fresh lemon wedges (for garnish)

For the dressing: In a blender, combine balsamic glaze, lemon juice, garlic, salt, honey, vegetable oil, and fish sauce. Process until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the oysters: Fill a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven with at least 2 inches of oil and heat to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, and paprika. In a second bowl, combine buttermilk, hot sauce, and salt. Whisk to blend.

Working with 6 oysters at a time, dip the oysters first in the buttermilk mixture, then allow any excess to drip off before dredging them in the cornmeal mixture. Repeat with the remaining oysters. Fry the oysters in the hot oil in batches, turning once, until golden brown and floating on the surface of the oil, about 1½ minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon or tongs to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

For the salad: Divide the greens among 4 large salad bowls or plates. Top the lettuce with the oysters. Place onion slices on each salad and a wedge of lemon on each dish. Then drizzle the dressing over each salad. Crumble the bacon over each salad and serve immediately.


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This story was published on May 13, 2021

Lynn Wells

Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.