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The end of year celebrations represent the ideal opportunity to treat yourself, particularly with the Christmas meal. It’s time to pull out all the stops and serve dishes that are out of everyday life. We opt for good foie gras, smoked salmon, oysters but also shellfish. The latter are, in fact, among the flagship products of this period. Hot or cold, there are many ways to make them. But before sublimating this shell, you still have to open it without hurting yourself.
To do this, we reveal to you in this article all our advice for being an expert in the field. And to prepare your festive menu without stress, find all our Christmas recipe ideas on our dedicated page!
Chef Damien gave his advice for opening scallops very easily.
The first thing is to take the shell with the flat part on top and the rounded part resting in the palm of the hand. Slide the tip of the knife into a gap in the shell near the hinge. Then leverage the knife to separate the two parts of the shell by a few millimeters in order to slide the entire blade under the flat shell and scrape the inside in a single movement to cut the muscle. Chef Damien explains that “the knife must really scrape the inside to only waste a minimum of material”.
Once the flat part of the shell is removed, use a spoon to scrape the bottom of the rounded part and loosen the nut along with its coral and barbs.
To see the demonstration in pictures, Chef Damien shows you the technique in video.
Once you have opened the scallop, it is important to move on to the cleaning stage. To do this, grab the mollusk and pinch the barbs and coral all around the nut between your thumb and other fingers. A small nerve connects the nut to its coral. Just pull on it without forcing too much so as not to tear the flesh. Rinse the nuts to remove the sand. Also don’t forget to pat them dry before cooking.
Also note that the coral and the barbs of the scallop shell can be eaten. They will bring an iodized taste. These elements are particularly used for sauces.
The best solution for opening scallops is to use a knife designed specifically for this purpose. But you can also use an oyster knife which will do the job very well. It is important that this knife is toothless, otherwise it could break the shell