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Broiled scallops sizzle with flavor in no time

Thursday, January 31, 2002

By Nancy Anderson, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

It's been a year since Countdown to Dinner has heard from Marguerite Hannon of Fox Chapel, one of our first contributors and a subsequent four-time winner.


But a cold snap in early January gave her an incentive to curl up for the afternoon with cookbooks.

Her loll was our gain. The next day our e-mail contained four recipes, including today's for Scallops Harborside Style.

"I've had this recipe for a long, long time," she said. "It's a very basic recipe that came from Jimmy's Harborside Restaurant in Boston many years ago."

As a scallop lover, we couldn't wait to make the dish, which, like most seafood cookery, sounded quick and easy to prepare.

And it was -- 20 minutes tops. The scallops were tender, soft and flavorful. We served them with a spicy leftover grilled peppers/buttered noodles concoction which complemented the mild taste of the scallops.

Marguerite serves them with rice pilaf or couscous and spinach or "something green." In the summer she sticks a fresh tomato topped with Parmesan under the broiler with the scallops.

"Makes a pretty plate," she said.

She has varied the recipe by substituting shrimp for the scallops and says it's just as good.

A passionate cook and cookbook collector ("I read them like novels"), she's written her own cookbook, "It's Our Thyme," a collection of about 100 family favorites that she typed and put in looseleaf form between plastic sheets for her family (she and husband, Jack, have four grown children).

"One of my grandchildren, Christine, who's 15, made me a Web site for the cookbook at Christmas- time," she said, "But when I got home, I couldn't bring it up."

The problem was the Web site's address -- she couldn't remember it. But that's been remedied.

"All that is there at this point is a picture of the cookbook cover and part of the index," she said. "I need to find out how to proceed from this humble beginning, courtesy of my granddaughter."

Once she enters the recipes, we'll be able to log on to www.geocities.com/hannoncooking/ItsOurThyme.html and enjoy the culinary treasures of a Gourmet magazine contributor.

Her past Countdown recipes have been Quick Crab Bisque, Clam Cakes, Parmesan Crusted Lamb Chops and Honey Glazed Pork Chops.

Scallops Harborside Style

1 pound fresh or frozen bay or sea scallops
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/3 cup soft cracker or bread crumbs
Dash garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

Preheat broiler.

If using large sea scallops, slice horizontally through center. Add sherry to the melted butter. Put 2 tablespoons of the butter/sherry mixture in shallow baking pan and arrange scallops in single layer. Combine crumbs and seasonings and sprinkle over scallops. Drizzle remaining butter/sherry over scallops. Broil about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve hot with lemon wedges. Serves 3 or 4 as a main course, 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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