Baked Sea Scallops with Tarragon and Panko

The best way to cook sea scallops is to sear them in a hot cast-iron pan, but when you are cooking for a crowd, baking is a good second best, and much less labor intensive. These were delicious.

Yields 4-6 servings


2 pounds sea scallops, rinsed and drained

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4  cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion chopped

2 teaspoons dried tarragon

Salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup Panko

3 tablespoons olive oil 

Chopped parsley for garnish

Lemon wedges for garnish


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place scallops, melted butter, garlic, onions and tarragon in a bowl. Season with salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Transfer to a casserole dish. Arrange the scallops in a single layer.

In a separate bowl, combine Panko and olive oil and stir to mix. Sprinkle on top of scallops.

Bake in the preheated oven until crumbs are brown and scallops are done, about 12 to 15 minutes. Top with parsley, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

I served this with couscous and a salad, and a crisp white wine.

Rick’s Mediterranean Sheet Pan Roast Chicken

Since COVID has enlarged our family bubble, I have rediscovered ways of cooking for a crowd. The slow-cooker is my friend. And I have been having fun roasting things on sheet pans. Lo, and behold, the New York Times just had an article about this as a trend. When you think of trendy, I’m sure you think of me.

So, tonight I roasted some bone-in skin-on chicken thighs with some vaguely Mediterranean flavors and it came out pretty good.


2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, about 4 lbs.

1 red onion, peeled and cut into thin ribbons.

1 small jar of chopped pimentos

1 dozen whole pitted green olives

1 dozen whole pitted Kalamata olives




Smoked paprika

Garlic salt

Onion salt




Pre-heat oven to 425 F.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and brush it with the olive oil to coat. Place chicken skin side up on the sheet. Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients around the chicken. Shake the spices onto the chicken to your taste.

Cook for 35 to 45 minutes until the chicken is brown on the top. An insta-read thermometer should read at 165 F.

I served this with yellow saffron rice and a tossed salad. A nice red blend from Portugal carried the Mediterranean theme. Enjoy!

Rick’s Berkshire Jambalaya

For tonight’s Shrove Tuesday dinner my son requested that we have both pancakes and jambalaya, which is a thing their church in Alexandria does. “Dad, do you have a jambalaya in you?” he asked last week. It was in rotation during his childhood, but I seldom make it anymore because it is a pile of food, and until the pandemic, it was just the two of us.

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A Meditation on Divine Providence and Human Freedom: Luke 13: 1-9

The Parable of the Fig Tree

I went to my 50th high school reunion in 2017, and several of us agreed that if our lives were measured like a football game, we would be in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. That, of course, is something we can only surmise, and, indeed, some of that cohort have died since that time.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has made it more difficult to avoid thinking about one’s mortality, whatever quarter of the game we might imagine we are in.

I turn to the 13th Chapter of the Gospel of Luke to reflect on the mysterious interplay between divine providence and human freedom, and what Jesus might have to say to us about our living of these days, however many of them we are blessed to have remaining.

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Christmas Eve Reflections

I lead a little weekly Bible Study on Zoom and yesterday we had the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke Chapter 2. The Christmas story is a good one in which to ponder how we read Scripture since it is so familiar to us. After nearly a half century of studying Scripture for preaching I am still finding discoveries in texts that I thought were “settled.” The Christmas story is one such text.

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Richard L. Floyd: “Prophetic” pastors who don’t love the church

(This article first appeared on the Faith and Leadership blog of Duke Divinity School on on March 17, 2010.)

If the main reason you become a pastor is to promote some cause, then your soul is in danger, and so is the congregation’s.

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Words of Remembrance for Don McGillis (1946-2020)

(Don McGillis was the former Editor of the Berkshire Eagle and a long-time reporter for the Boston Globe. He was also my friend. He died last week after spending the night stranded on Mount Katahdin in Maine and suffering a 50-foot fall. His family invited me to share some words at his memorial service yesterday) 

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