Meet the competition. "A shortage of big sharks along the U.S. East Coast is letting their prey flourish, and that prey [like the Cownose Ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) above] is . . . demolishing Bay Scallop populations," reports Science News. "The new findings . . . could affect efforts to replenish beds of shellfish such as oysters. Without excluding predators, says Peterson, 'you have a ray-feeding station.'" Who can say no to a free lunch? Unforeseen consequences happen, cascading effects aren't just for sheeple, and market forces will out: "Cownose Rays have grown so abundant along the U.S. East Coast that fisheries managers are trying to promote them as a seafood delicacy. TV cooking-show host Emeril Lagasse has even developed some recipes." 'Wonder how many calories in a filet of Cownose Ray? (Shedd Aquarium photo)
Having shed 34 unwanted pounds since starting our Cold Turkey Diet 20 weeks ago, we stopped by the doc's this morning for a 400-mile* maintenance check and were delighted to learn that our BMI (body mass index) -- in the "overweight" range last time we checked a couple of months back -- was finally back to "normal." Cholesterol readings were exemplary. As anticipated, the rate of weight loss had plateaued after the first few weeks, going from 2.8 to 1.6 and now 1 pound per week since mid-August:
August 14 - October 16 = 9 weeks: 9 pounds lost = 1 pound/wk
So many pounds, so little time?
*Walkies mileage = 4 mi/day x c. 5 days/week = 20 mi/week x 20 weeks = 400 mi
The Atlantic Bay Scallop (Argopecten/Aequipecten irradians) of the Eastern Seaboard has "about sixty primitive tiny bright blue eyes . . . in rows along [its] mantle edge to detect motion, light and dark," alerting the pectinid to possible predatory danger in time for "fight" -- shutting its shell -- or flight -- swimming away. "They can swim so well, scallops are in fact the only migratory bivalve." (Bill Capman photo on cover of British Journal of Ophthalmology, November 2003)
Speaking of calories and pounds, as we wrote in the introduction to our Cold Turkey Cookbook Index to Recipes, "We like the idea of fewer calories, but never at the expense of taste, rib-stickiness and mouth feel." With scallops, you can have it all.
We're not sure whether the scallops we purchased yesterday from Belle Isle Seafood in East Boston were the Bay Scallops favored by Cownose Rays or Sea Scallops (Placopecten magellanicus), a "large variety found in relatively deep water from Newfoundland to North Carolina." The man behind the counter said they were shipped in from Canada. Either way, they're delicious as the main event in Scallop Melt with parmesan, served above on a bed of Perfect Rice with Corny Cornbread and blanched snow peas.
1/2 pound scallops = 200 calories
1 cup white vermouth or other white wine = 110 calories
3 cloves chopped roasted or fresh garlic = 12 calories
Juice of 1/2 lemon = 6 calories
Pinch of sea salt = 0 calories
Freshly ground pepper to taste = 8 calories
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan = 216 calories
Total for 4 servings = 552 calories = 138 calories per serving
Mix wine, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in frying pan, add scallops and marinate 1/2 hour, turning over several times. Remove scallops with slotted spoon to shallow baking dish, sprinkle with parmesan and broil 8-10 minutes.
While scallops broil, bring marinade to boil, lower heat and simmer, reducing liquid to a thin syrup. Pour liquid over a bed of Perfect Rice and top with scallops. Eat your little Myliobatidaceous hearts out, you cownose rays.
Note: Blog title is taken from "I lobster but never flounder" by Pinkard & Bowden.