Friday, July 10, 2009

More from Bo's Birthday Week

Bo loves seafood, so to continue his birthday week, I made scallops from my friend at The Global Kitchen. Tonight's dinner was officially Grilled Scallops with Pancetta and Basil Aioli.

I started Wednesday by making the marinade, prepping the scallops and making the aioli. Dinner was served with roasted asparagus and crab cake - dont be too impressed - the crab cakes were an "impulse buy" at the meat counter of the store!

I followed this recipe exact, except I pan cooked the scallops (having grill troubles). I found the aioli to be too "heavy" on the tongue. I think the olive oil may have been too much for the rest of the delicate ingredients. Next time I would try a canola oil. The asparagus were roasted with a "rub" of olive oil, lemon juice, spicy mustard, salt and pepper. The crab cake was pan seared then baked to finish it off.

Bo was impressed. He called it a "fancy" dinner. Thumbs up!

Grilled Scallops with Pancetta and Basil Aioli (Adapted from Fish and Shellfish Grilled and Smoked by Kearen Adler and Judith Ferto)
serves 4

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs cracked black peppercorns
1 tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 lb sea scallops
1 cup basil aioli
4 thin slices of pancetta

A day in advance combine the olive oil, garlic, peppercorns and lemon juice in a resealable plastic bag and marinate the scallops overnight.

Make the aioli a day in advance.

Prepare a hot fire

Meanwhile cook the pancetta in a skillet over med-high heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.

When ready to grill remove the scallops from the grill and place on the grill for about 3 minutes before turning. If the scallops stick, cook them a little longer until they turn easily.

After turning cook a little longer until they are heated through, 1-2 minutes.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the aioli onto 4 serving plates and spread around. Arrange scallops on top and sprinkle with the crumbled pancetta.

Basil Aioli

The original recipe calls for nuking the yolks for 15 seconds. I tried this and ended up with cooked yolks. I make mayo and aioli's all the time with raw yolks and have lived. But if it bothers you or if you are elderly, pregnant, an infant or have a weakened immune system use pasturized egg yolks.

2 large organic egg yolks
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 anchovy fillets, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs chopped basil leaves
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and Tabasco to taste.

Whisk egg yolks together and whisk in add lemon juice through vinegar.

Slowly drizzle in olive oil whisking all the while. When mixture has thickened, season with salt and Tabasco to taste.

If the mixture gets too thick, thin with a little warm water.

Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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