Nothing fancy, simply delicious.

Seafood roll—Big Bend style—is summer comfort food, but you have to get to the scallop’s zones on the west coast to catch your own.

In France, scallops are coquilles. And the classic French dish is coquilles St. Jacques. It’s rich, fancy and usually served baked in large sea scallop shells to discriminating diners, some likely named Jacques. But here in Florida, all my friends named Jack pick their own scallops from our Gulf flats during the three-month season and frankly, they don’t go in for fancy food. They’d prefer something simpler— and usually handheld—rather than something served atop fine linens and aside engraved silverware. That’s where this picnic version of the classic French dish begins.

Our abundance of local seafood spoils us. And Florida bay scallops are perfect to feature in this simple seafood sandwich. And by simple, I mean a quick sauce surrounding seafood, mostly scallops, but with crabmeat and shrimp, and served in a simple toasted hot dog bun.

Seafood Rolls: Big Bend Style

(serves 4)

  • 1 pound Florida bay scallops
  • ½ pound shrimp (peeled, deveined and split horizontally)
  • ½ pound cooked lump crabmeat
  • 4 buttered and toasted hot dog buns, insides sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white wine (the good stuff!)
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Finely chopped chives

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic. Cook until garlic is softened, then stir in the flour. Wisk in the wine and the warm milk and cook until the mixture thickens. Add the mustard, salt and pepper, then the shrimp and scallops, stirring until cooked through. Finally, add the crabmeat and heat briefly. Fill the rolls with the mixture and garnish with the chives. Serve with a dry white wine. Or if Jack’s there, a cold beer! FS

First Published Florida Sportsman Magazine July 2016

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