Preparing this dinner was not easy. It was probably not very wise to make it during the kitchen hellnovation, but I was craving a nicer meal to make our Sunday evening feel special. It can be very stressful to be in a house undergoing renovation, so having a slightly fancier meal seemed like a good idea. However, what used to be a kitchen is now an almost empty space with no finished floors or appliances. We are lucky to be able to keep the fridge turned on in our garage, and to have improvised two cooking areas: one in the laundry room, another in our enclosed patio. Still, pantry items are in boxes, a few dishes are piled in the dining room for our daily use, a few pans at close reach, but not that many. I wish you could see a video of me preparing this meal. Actually, I am very glad there is no video documenting the process. It involved me dashing a few times across rooms, forgetting that some passages are blocked by heavy plastic. It involved a mildly twisted ankle while balancing scallops on a baking dish and “almost” losing them all to a floor covered in rough concrete bits. It also involved a scorched pan, but the pea puree, even after subjected to torture tasted absolutely awesome! So, allow me to share with you one of the toughest meals I prepared in the past year, a recipe that I first saw on a favorite food blog of mine, Taste Food. Yes, I cooked from Lynda’s blog before… ;-)
SEA SCALLOPS WITH GINGERED PEA PUREE AND CILANTRO GREMOLATA
(adapted from Taste Food)
for the scallops:
12 sea scallops
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of Mycryo
for the pea puree:
2 cups shelled English peas
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
for the gremolata:
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Make the gremolata by combining the cilantro, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons salt and the peas. Cook until peas are tender. Remove from heat and drain peas, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Combine peas, ginger, olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne in bowl of food processor. Purée until smooth. Add some of the reserved water (approximately 1/4 cup) to thin to desired consistency; the purée should not be too thin. Discard remaining water. Transfer purée to a bowl and keep warm. Pat scallops dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Add a sprinkle of Mycryo right before cooking. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the scallops, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook, turning once, until brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining scallops. No need to add any oil to the pan, just the sprinkle of Mycryo will be enough.
To assemble, spoon pea purée on serving plates. Top with scallops. Sprinkle scallops and purée with gremolata. Serve immediately.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: Mycryo is a great product with a poorly chosen name, if you ask me. The word – Mycryo – makes me think of tears, sadness, despair. But that could not be farther from the truth: they gave sea scallops THE most perfect brown ever, even though they were prepared in THE most rudimentary cooking conditions available to a cook (the Drama Queen says hello). I even conducted a small experiment by preparing two batches of sea scallops. One cost a small fortune, they were the ultra-special, huge dry sea scallops. The other was a frozen type that while thawing released a gallon of white milky liquid. No bueno. With a light sprinkle of Mycryo (and no oil added to the non-stick pan), all scallops browned like a Brazilian under the tropical sun! We could not tell the difference in texture or taste between the two types, which was quite amazing to me. Great product! You can order here, they shipped very quickly, contrary to what I heard from customers who got it through amazon.com.
The pea puree competed heavily with the scallops to win the spotlight of this meal. Bright flavor with the ginger and just a slight heat from the cayenne. Lynda really came up with a perfectly balanced side dish.
I close this post with a little snapshot of our laundry room. In one side we installed the induction cooktop + microwave. On the other side, where we do have a large sink, we stuffed together the coffee machine, coffee grinder, and our beloved Penguin Sodastream. It’s cozy in there, folks. Cozy.
ONE YEAR AGO: Mediterranean Skewers with Balsamic Dressing
TWO YEARS AGO: Five Grain Sourdough Bread
THREE YEARS AGO: The Nano-Kitchen
FOUR YEARS AGO: Kaiser Rolls