Lord, open my lips
And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Today is the 5th Friday in the Lenten Season. Just one more Lenten Friday before Holy Week. It’s also April Fool’s Day. I’ve never been one to celebrate April Fools Day.
While practical jokes can be funny, it’s so easy for a joke to go from funny to hurtful. Having been the target of many a childhood practical joke, I can speak from experience. When a good laugh comes at someone else’s expense, it’s just not worth the price. It’s one thing to laugh at ourselves and see our own foolishness. It’s another to be made a fool.
I wish I could have said that our local market had put up a sign in the Seafood section that read “April Fools! That’s not really the price for Sea Scallops.” Unfortunately, the price was not a joke.
It had been months since I made pan seared scallops. In October, sea scallops set us back about twenty dollars a pound. While a luxury, it was a nice way to celebrate both Guardian Angel Day and National Fried Scallop Day. Imagine my shock when we saw not twenty dollars for a pound of Sea Scallops, but over thirty a pound!
Sea Scallops have always been more expense than their smaller cousins, the Bay Scallops. Sea Scallops are more labor intense to harvest, not very cost effective to farm and take a long time to reach maturity. It’s that whole supply and demand thing. And the 1-percenters are willing to pay the hefty price to fine dine when the rest of us say no thanks.
The recipe I wanted to make was the same I had made in October to celebrate Guardian Angles and Fried Scallops. However; at the current price for Sea Scallops, it wasn’t happening. While you might be able to substitute one food for another, when it comes to scallops there is no way to go with Bay Scallops rather than Sea Scallops. It’s flavor, texture, cooking method, and a whole list of other reasons why the two shell fish are not interchangeable.
My first reaction, once over the initial price-sticker shock, was to create a recipe utilizing another shell fish – shrimp. We love shrimp. There was shrimp in the freezer. (There is always shrimp in the freezer). Buttery Shrimp would pair nicely with Rice Pilaf and Thyme Carrots. Problem solved. Yeah, except Hubby had pointed out that in addition to shrimp, we keep white fish on hand for those Friday Night Suppers. Fish cooks up quickly, and like scallops can be considered a blank canvas just waiting for a brush load of flavor. All I can say is oh my goodness! Who needs scallops?
Buttery Thyme Pan-Fried Tilapia
4 Tilapia Filets
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Butter
3 sprigs Thyme
1/2 cup White Wine
Thyme Sprigs for garnish
Pat fish as dry as possible with paper towels. Season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Set a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan as it warms. Strip thyme leaves from sprig; add to the melting butter. Swirl pan to coat bottom in thyme butter. Increase heat to medium-high.
Place the fish in the pan without over crowding. Cook over medium-high heat without disturbing for 3 minutes or until a nice crust has developed on the fish. Gently turn with spatula cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Add white, swirl pan and let cook until heated through and fish is flaky. Plate tilapia, drizzle with pan juices and garnish with fresh thyme.