Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scallops and Sake

Qualicum Bay Scallops are fresh, local and tasty as hell, or should it be heaven? They are also on the Ocean Wise(sustainable seafood program), thumbs up list, so you can feel morally superior while you eat them. If you want to win friends and influence people, I'm about to lay a recipe on you that will make you an overnight success.


1 cucumber, slice and use as 'crackers' to serve scallops on
4 med-large scallops cut in half, you can buy them at Granville Island

5 Jalapeno peppers, remove seeds and dice very fine
1/2 onion, diced very fine
1/2 tomato(good quality!), diced fine
1 clove garlic, grate finely
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
The salsa is best when you leave it in the refrigerator overnight to mellow the flavours.


Heat a frying pan on medium, put a little oil in the bottom of the pan and throw the scallops in with about 8 Tbs of salsa. Heat until the scallops caramelize or brown slightly, should take about 5 minutes. Scoop each scallop out and place on a cucumber slice with a dollop of cooked salsa and serve hot.

Here are a few tips to make this appy super yummy:

1. This sounds super hippie, but, always buy local, organic tomatoes, they tend to be the sweetest when in season. Good tomatoes are hard to find in winter, don't add tomatoes if all you can find are crappy field or tomatoes from Mexico, just put in a bit more onion and Jalapeno to compensate.

2. When you remove the seeds and dice the Jalapenos put a plastic bag over you hands or wear gloves if you have them that way you won't have problems if you poke yourself in the eye later. Also don't be afraid that the recipe will be too spicy. The little devilish seeds of the peppers hold most of the heat, also, the salsa will be sauteed which will mellow the spice further.

3. Dice the crap out of everything! We want to make sure no one vegetable dominates.

4. There is a fine balance between caramelizing the salsa and overcooking the scallops. Depending on your cook top temperature and how thick your scallops are, you may want to caramelize the salsa first and then throw the scallop in for 5 minutes to cook just to be sure that you are making magic.

Lastly, pair with cold sake from Artisan Sake Maker(buy in any liquor store), black label. Or try Cedar Creek, BC, Chardonnay, Estate Select($24) if you can find it(maybe at Firefly Wine Stores).


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