Day 88: Scallops. And More Scallops.

Hands down, scallops are the most popular fish dish for lunch. So hearing “Order scallops” every few minutes isn’t startling. It’s that moment when I hear “FIRE SCALLOPS” that I start getting indigestion.

Scallops on a bed of squid ink risotto

Scallops on a bed of squid ink risotto

The trick with keeping on top of your orders is having a hot pan. I realized a trick halfway into service: Keep you pans on a low flame while you’re waiting for the command, “FIRE!” (I had them stacked on the grill, which kept them moderately warm.) You need a screaming hot pan to cook scallops so having them preheated saves you at least one minute–a big deal when you have chefs and upperclassmen breathing down your back, wanting to know when your scallops will be “walking.”

I was doing pretty good on searing my scallops to develop a beautiful caramelization, which was exciting because my cousin came in for lunch to taste my food. And of course when her order came through I had five simultaneous orders, and screwed up her plate. One of the scallops got stuck to the pan and got plated looking like part of it was eaten. Yeah. She didn’t let that one go. I got a text later in the day telling my pan wasn’t hot enough. Bah. But she did say it was one of the better meals she’s had in the restaurant in a while. Bam.

TIP OF THE DAY: Add a pad of butter to your scallop pan and use it to baste the shellfish.

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