Today is the 5th Friday of Lent. Normally, during this time of the year Catholics world-wide refrain from eating meat on Fridays. This year, for some Catholics in the United States, things are different.
While a Bishop cannot change Catholic doctrine, he can grant dispensation for his particular Diocese. Many of the Bishops throughout the country have decided to grant dispensation from the whole abstinence during Lent obligation. And their reasons are valid. Some site the rising cost of meat alternatives such as fish and seafoods when so many find themselves unable to work. Others say due to the stay-at-home recommendations, people should eat what they have on hand rather than risk their health to shop for groceries unnecessarily. Still others feel that their flock have given up so much already, they should not be excepted to give up more. The whole point of no-meat is a form of penance and preparation for Easter.
If everything that the world has gone through isn’t enough penance, I don’t know what is. All the reasons for this newly granted dispensation are sound arguments. Still, in our house we hold the tradition of no meat. This we do not as an obligation, but rather from the heart. Holding to traditions, especially now when there are not traditions in sight, gives me some sense of comfort.
Pan-Seared Parmesan Scallops
16 large Sea Scallops (about 1 1/2 lb)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
Coarse ground Black Pepper to taste
Chopped fresh Chives for garnish
Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Place Parmesan cheese in shallow dish or resealable food-storage plastic bag. Coat scallops with the cheese, discard any remaining cheese.
Heat oil and butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half of scallops at a time in oil 3 to 6 minutes, turning once, until golden brown on outside and white and opaque inside. While the scallops cook, snip Chives for garnish and set aside.
Once scallops are ready to serve, sprinkle with pepper and chives.
For a complete supper, serve with Risotto alla Milanese and asparagus spears or steamed green beans.