We can now get the large, true sea scallops. Overfishing made them all but disappear, but now better conservation measures have been successful. They are expensive, but worth it. This dish can also be prepared with the small "bay" scallops, which I think may be pieces of fish. Allow 4 to 5 scallops for each person. This is a very easy and quick recipe.
For about 8 to 10 large scallops, melt a half-cup of butter, and add up to a teaspoon of good, hot Canadian mustard powder, and at least as much Louisiana hot sauce (Frank's is what I prefer), and mix well. You can vary the amounts to suit your taste. I did not use enough at first, so the scallops were bland. Nevertheless, they were very good, so nothing is wasted by experimentation. Put each scallop in a clam or scallop shell, if you have them. If not, just put the scallops in a glass baking dish that fits. Spoon the sauce equally over each of the scallops, and then sprinkle on unseasoned bread crumbs fairly generously. These bread crumbs will soak up the juice.
Place in a hot oven, 375-400°F, for 15 or 20 minutes. The liquid should bubble, and the crumbs brown a little (but do not overcook the scallops!). I have cooked oven chips (frozen french fries) among the shells, but they can also be cooked on the side. They go quite well with the scallops. A green vegetable, such as asparagus, makes a complete meal that is both elegant and tasty.
Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 22 November 2002