Please Taste This In Your Minds Eye

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I cook quite a lot for my Mother, who does not live with us. 

I had bought a bag of frozen sea scallops for her that has been sitting in my freezer for almost a year.  I figured I needed to cook them or I might lose out on my investment.  Both my husband and I are highly allergic to hard shell seafood. 

I was racking my brain as to what I could make with them, something that I could freeze for her later consumption (we are going away for about 3 weeks and I want her to have food in her ‘frig as well as freezer)  and this is what I came up. 

If you all wouldn’t mind giving me a critic (tasting in your minds eye), seeing as I can’t taste it!!

(8) 15ct Sea Scallops, cut into bit sized pieces

¼ lbs. Pancetta, diced

½ C. Onions, finely minced

1 C. Carrots, diced

1 C. Celery, diced

½ C. Sweet Bell Peppers, chopped

½ C. Okra, chopped

15 oz. can Tomato, crushed

2 C. Chicken Stock

1 tsp. dried Thyme

1/8 tsp. Cayenne

¼ tsp. Smoked Paprika

S & P

EVOO

Sauté the veggies in dutch oven

Bloomed the spices with the pot

Add Tomato and stock

Bring to a rolling boil

Add Scallops

Cover and remove from heat

 
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Is this a bad thing? 

It was frozen when I bought them and have been in my deep freezer chest for not quite a year. 

I bought them sometime last summer...

Should I just throw this out and not give it to Mom?
 

phatch

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Staff member
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They'll be food safe in my opinion, though they won't taste particularly special nor have their proper texture.

More heat will probably help. Hot sauce, sriracha,  something like that.

For kicks, look into conpoy, Chinese dried scallops. Fun seasoning and keep a long time....
 
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thank you phatch, would you say that this is seasoned enough?

more of something?

I didn't want to over cooked the fish, since Mom will re heat later.

I figured since these were so old and have probably lost there YUM-O factor, not worth putting on the grill and the like...I'd make a stew/soup/stoup...we like loads of goodies.
 
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Honestly, the recipe looks good, but one year old frozen scallops, thawed, cooked and frozen again? Doesn't sound like much of a treat to me. I'll pass on tasting it - even with my mind's eye!
 
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They'll be food safe in my opinion, though they won't taste particularly special nor have their proper texture.
I thought it wasn't safe to re-freeze defrosted food.  Does cooking it and then refreezing make it safe?  I thought there was something about the cells being broken down. 
 
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I thought it wasn't safe to re-freeze defrosted food.  Does cooking it and then refreezing make it safe?  I thought there was something about the cells being broken down. 
The cells do tear both when thawing and when freezing, more or less depending on how your thaw and how you freeze, but as far as I know that does not present any safety issue, just transforms food into rubber. 

The health issue is the time your food spends in the danger zone, which accumulates: time in danger zone before freezing+time in danger zone before cooking+time in danger zone after cooking and during cooling+time in danger zone after thawing etc.... so the more you thaw/freeze again, the more the bacteria multiply. 
 
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As far as refreezing. In actuality you are not because it is not in the same state and you have cooked it after first freeze, so you are now freezing a different product.

As far as the dish itself it looks and sounds fine. Only problem I see is when mom reheats. The scallops will tend to toughen because keep in mind you are cooking or heating them twice.

Frozen food manufactures allow and compansate for this in their reheating directions, therefore so should you.
 
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Recipe looks interesting BUT why don't you forget about that year-old seafood - sounds like a health risk to me!  How about buying some fresh ones and getting a neighbour or friend to be your taste buds after cooking? It's better to be safe that sorry - especially like you wouldn't be around.
 
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SimplyCook, whatever would make you think there's a health risk involved?

Long-frozen foods, especially delicate ones like shellfish, can suffer quality losses. But that's not a health issue. With properly frozen food there is no safety problem at all. You will never find a food scientist who claims otherwise.  

Health concerns with frozen foods stem from the method of defrosting, not the fact of freezing. Far too many people will remove something from the freezer, then toss it in the sink to defrost overnight. That practice can be dangerous, because it puts the food in the so-called danger zone, where bacteria can multiply.
 
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Although the recipe sounds quite good I'm glad I'm not your Mother.  Frozen seaffod that is then to be refrozen?  Sounds awful, wouldn't she be better off with some frozen tv dinners?  Don't mean to be judgemental but come on, we're foodies here.  Scallops are not an exciting food, they don't have a particularly stong flavor, they just take well to whatever you're cooking them with.  What is special about scallops though is the texture - and you lose that when you freeze and then refreeze.
 
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Thanks so much everyone for your input.

Mom LOVED her soup/stew/stoup whatever you want to call it.

I had to take her to the dentist first thing this morning and had this ready for her lunch.

She just loves scallops and also soups.

So I thought that this would be a great way to finish off her bag of scallops we had in the deep freeze.

I followed food safety recommendations in defrosting the shell fish and they went promptly into the broth.

It made about 2 quarts for her to freeze and have another helping later.
 
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Boxes of frozen products are left out in supermarkets daily until they are put away, thats why many time when you purchase and bring them home you will see a layer of ice on the product. It has been smi thawed and refrozen.
 
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I don't think I'll be buying sea food here at all. 

Not like it was in Hawaii, right off the boat, never frozen. 

I 'd go to this little shack right down our street, two guys and a boat.  I'd watch them butcher the beast and pass you your white paper wrapped bounty through the window.

My husband was saying that he's a little leary of the fish here, that's why I've been buying frozen, maybe not such a good idea?
 
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Sure, fresh off the boat is the best way to buy seafood. However, not all of us live on the coast or have access to the freshest fish.  Sometimes frozen is the only choice.

If the fish is frozen, then thawed, then cooked, then cooled and frozen again, it is indeed a different beastie.  As long as it it is properly thawed in the fridge then reheated briefly I don't believe it wouold be a problem.  The seafoof may get a tad tough after all these processes, so I would suggest a different protein, i.e. lamb/beef/chicken/pork.  These do benefit from the freezing then rehating rocess, to me.  I find them more tender and flavoursome afterwards.  Plus portioning  is easy peasy :)
 
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To me, it was the length of time the food had been in a freezer.  I don't like frozen food much, anyway - but I'd never keep anything for a year.  If we don't eat it within 6 months (for SOME foods, at the latest!) I chuck it away.
 
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Ishbel, I would love to live closer to markets, as we did in our "past life" and not ever buy frozen foods again, fresh is so much better, but...

One of the reasons my husband had much better health, is that we ate fish at a minimum, every other day.  Never needed to take any fish oil pills, etc...

Now, I probably make us fish once a week. 
 
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