Right before moving away from Boston a couple of weeks ago, I went out to lunch with one of my best friends there. Several nights before, she and I had struck up a conversation with a waiter from B&G Oysters while we were trying to spy on a cooking class in at Barbara Lynch's "Stir" that turned out not to be a cooking class but rather a bunch of staff eating cold, leftover pizza, which they offered to us. The waiter made us promise to come for lunch at B&G that week because it was restaurant week and they were serving a special fried clam sandwich. I don't love fried clam sandwiches in general (or fried oyster or shrimp sandwiches for that matter), or at least, I thought I didn't. Turns out I don't like soggy, heavily battered deep fried seafood, but the clam sandwich we had at the restaurant was amazingly crispy and flavorful with a lovely herby mayo.
I got a craving for another last week, but as it turns out, shellfish (unless you want zebra mussels) aren't quite as abundant in the Midwest as they are in New England (I know, big shock). But they had just gotten a shipment of Bay Scallops from Newfoundland at our grocery store and they were having a special, so I got a bunch of those and figured they might work sort of similarly to clams. Something about frying scallops made me feel sort of Italian (who knows...), so instead of plain old mayo, I made a quick salsa verde mayo, packed the scallops onto some toasty ciabatta, and added arugula and some slices of the last of the season's tomatoes. Insanely messy. These sandwiches don't want to stay together for anything. They're not company food, but they were crazy delicious.
On a side note, in general I haven't been super successful at making fried food. (I think it knows I'm scared of it.) But, one thing I have learned through a lot of screwing it up is, make sure your oil is hot enough! Hot, I tell you! —fiveandspice
This was my first time frying scallops and boy were they addictive. In her version of a fried fish sandwich, fiveandspice has you coat scallops with two types of cornmeal, paprika and Aleppo pepper, and then quickly fry them in hot oil. The scallop’s exterior was crispy with a kick of warm heat, while the interior was moist and sweet. These sandwiches were delicious served with peppery arugula and a ripe, juicy tomato, but it was the easy-to-prepare, irresistible salsa verde mayo -- with summery flavors of parsley, capers, garlic and anchovies -- that made the sandwich really sing. One tip: refrain from flipping the scallops until the bottom surfaces completely brown or the delicate breading may stick to the pan. —cookinginvictoria