Do you like scallops? I enjoy the convenience of small, sweet, frozen scallops. They’re mild and they’re easy to prepare. For the recipe for “Scallops with Red Pepper Sauce,” from The Family Circle’s All-Time Favorite Recipes, I doubled the ingredients for the sauce, so I would have extra to use with my chosen side dish (see below). The art of this recipe was indeed in the sauce; the scallops were merely a blank canvas.

I steamed my bell peppers for 10 minutes. I was nervous about using “20 drops red pepper sauce,” because I did not want this sauce to be too spicy for my young child. I used, instead, 1 tsp. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which lent a warm smokiness, rather than a hurtful blast of heat. It’s always fun to make a sauce in a blender, and I do enjoy using yogurt. I added 1 1/2 tsp. salt to the sauce. I stir-fried my scallops with 2 chopped scallions, then garnished with cilantro.

I made 33 “Zucchini Corn Fritters,” from All Recipes, admittedly lured by their fried, soft/crisp sweetness. How good to serve them with my extra smoky pepper sauce. Of course, you must know that these fritters will quickly absorb much oil as you fry them, hence the nature of their wickedness. I was comfortable using ground cumin and frozen corn kernels.

Treat yourself to these fritters; just don’t make a dirty habit out of them.

Scallops (1 lb.) = $5.75
Red Bell Peppers (2) = $2.33

RECIPES: make a sauce to be proud of and use it throughout your meal
PREP TIMES: scallops and sauce could be ready in 30 minutes; frying time will always be limited by the size of your skillet
TASTES: spicy? smoky? customize your sauce and let it complement your sweet scallops and crisp fritters

Next time, I want to make a (vegetarian) chili. I’ll try the “Zesty Wheat Berry–Black Bean Chili” from the March/April 2007 issue of Eating Well magazine. See what happens when you return to my site on Saturday, February 27.