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Recipe: 'Boombastic's Scallops'

by Molly O'Neill
Nov 19, 2010

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Molly O'Neill

Brian Borgeson grew up in Wayland, Mass., and began fishing and digging clams when he was 4 years old. He sold his first striped bass when he was 17 — "and it's been downhill ever since," he says. The owner (and seasonal resident) of the 38-foot charter boat Absolute is known as "Boomer," or "Boombastic." He is also a teller of tall tales, a hard-core bon vivant, an "extreme" sport fisherman, and a fine cook. "Being a cook is like being a fisherman: It's not something you want to be, it just happens." This dish just happened. "I think there wasn't much in the house except for the scallops. I drag for bay scallops in the fall. The grapefruit was a little out there. But when I tasted it — outrageous, over the top, a classic." The dish is so delicious that he's made it in the summer when bay scallops are not available, using sea scallops instead.

Serves 4


1 1/2 pounds Nantucket Bay scallops or sea scallops

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Juice and grated zest of 1 grapefruit

1 tablespoon drained capers


1. Pat the scallops very dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a medium nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over high heat until beginning to brown. Add the scallops without crowding and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until they form a rich golden brown crust. Transfer the scallops to four individual plates.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grapefruit juice, scraping up any residue from the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and whisk in the remaining butter, a few pieces at a time. Stir in the zest and the capers, pour the sauce over the scallops, and serve.

Excerpted from One Big Table: 600 Recipes from the Nation's Best Home Cooks, Farmers, Fishermen, Pit-Masters, and Chefs by Molly O'Neill. Copyright 2010 by Molly O'Neill. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster.

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