Monday, April 27, 2009

Summer's Visit

Yes, springtime's all about asparagus, rhubarb and ramps, but 85 degrees in April calls for summertime food. I'm talking potato salad, some vegetables thrown together in a quick dressing, and a terrific new scallop dish that I can easily see becoming a regular meal around here once summer arrives for good.

The recipe comes from Rick Moonen's Fish Without a Doubt, a book I'd skimmed for months but hadn't actually cooked from until recently. The marinade caught my eye not only because of its sweet-spicy combination, but because it looked so simple (and I was really needing a simple recipe, having run a half-marathon that morning in 80 degrees, and having totally flopped at dinner the night before). Sea Scallops with Jalapeno-Grapefruit Marinade it was.

The marinade is pretty tart from grapefruit juice and zest, and considerably spicy, with about one and a half diced jalapenos, seeds, ribs and all. But you're only marinating the scallops in the jalapenos, not actually eating them, so it's a very palatable spice. The marinade's other ingredients are cilantro, scallions and dry vermouth (you could probably use a dry white wine)--all summertime staples around here. After marinating the scallops for an hour, we seared them on a griddle (obviously if you had a grill you would use it here) for about three minutes per side.

They were fantastic. A little spicy, and sweet from the grapefruit. Moonen says this is terrific with head-on shrimp, too, which I'll definitely try once summer's here for good.--S

Sea Scallops with Jalapeno-Grapefruit Marinade

Serves 4 (8 as an appetizer)

Grated zest of 1 grapefruit
Juice of 2 grapefruits (about 1 1/3 c, and pulp is fine)
1/4 c minced jalapeno chiles (with seeds)
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 c chopped scallions
1/3 c dry vermouth
3 T olive oil
16 large sea scallops, tough bits removed
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Stir the grapefruit zest and juice together with the jalapenos, cilantro, scallions, vermouth and olive oil in a baking dish or plastic container.
2. Immerse the scallops in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Prepare a grill so it's very hot.
4. Take the scallops out of the marinade. Season them with salt and pepper and brush them with vegetable oil.
5. Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Grill the scallops for 3 minutes per side. Scallops are like little sponges--they soak up the marinade, which will slow down the cooking. Don't expect these to get very brown, though you should have grill marks.

Recipe courtesy of Fish Without a Doubt

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