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…  😉


(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


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


  1. Scallops are one of my favourite types of seafood and I get to eat it too rarely. As I’m not fond of cilantro I’d probably end up with something that more closely resembled a chimichurri to serve on top. I’m not sure what the difference is between regular garden peas and English peas however. No difference in taste and texture between the dry scallops and the stuff that’s pumped with with chemicals. That IS surprising.


  2. Well the good news is that now you’re probably qualified to be on one of those cooking competition shows, after contending with this obstacle course and these “conditions”! This meal looks fabulous! I’m impressed that you could get it done with so little space and so few tools to work with!


  3. I do wish there was a video Sally! I think it would have been a hoot – only because I feel that way on an almost daily basis when I’m cooking and I don’t have any renovations as an excuse. 😉 The cilantro gremolata sounds fabulous and I’m going to have to look into this mycryo. The color of the scallops is fantastic!!! And I too often have those frozen scallops which never seem to brown quite right, and when they do, they are overcooked.
    Hope you have a fabulous day and just keep thinking how awesome your kitchen will be in the end! And there will then be a nice nostalgic story about your laundry room. 🙂


    • Kristy, renovation is not for sissies… I do sometimes want to sit at a corner and wait for October to arrive and with it the end of all this mess…. but unfortunately the floor material has not been delivered yet and that is more or less holding all the progress. OH, well – we’ll get there and it will be GLORIOUS!


  4. It wouldn’t take too many scallop dinners before the Mycryo pays for itself. I agree that it is an odd name but I think “micro”. Your version has the proper number of syllables and now I will pronounce the name properly! You are braver than I. When my kitchen was being remodeled we tended to go out for a big lunch and have cereal or a sandwich for dinner.


  5. You deserve a medal and we’re not even into October yet, Sally. This meal looks fantastic and is definitely restaurant quality. Who knew that, behind the scenes, a slapstick comedy was playing out? I’m sorry to hear of your ankle but very glad that you saved the scallops. Standing over scallops on my floor may be enough for me to revoke my “No Second” rule when it comes to food on the floor. It’s not like I have a spare scallops in the fridge. 🙂


    • John, normally I would ignore the “No Second” rule for scallops, but with THAT floor, no way… a mixture of cement powder with sharp bits of concrete, plus unreal amounts of dust. No, glad the ankle performed the magical move and dinner was saved! 😉


    • We also eat A LOT of peas – and lately I’ve been applying quite a few unusual treatments to them, just to add variety to the way we enjoy them. Such a great ingredient, and thanks to the freezer section, available the whole year (I tend to ignore the seasons when the frozen variety is so good, but let’s keep it a secret… 😉


  6. Sally, I’ve resisted purchasing the Mycryo stuff, but your scallop picture may have pushed me over the edge. Not fair, m’dear, not fair. Lucky for me, it’s out of stock right now but I see it in my future…distant future if ordered from Amazon. I’ve been thinking of you and the kitchen reno. You always go above and beyond and making this beautiful meal under such circumstances is what I’ve come to expect of “my Sally”. Again, good luck and keep your thoughts on that beautiful finished kitchen.


    • Thanks, Marcia! As always, you are adorable!

      Things will get a little worse before they get better – by the end of this weekend we have to empty the dining room too, where now we have A TON of stuff that was moved there from the kitchen. Boxes are ready and waiting, we just need to take a deep breath and go to work.

      A major drawback was a supporting beam in the place of the wall that was removed, they had to re-do it, but other than that, things are going reasonably smoothly – the range should arrive next week, by the way! I want to open the box to drool over it, even if we cannot install it yet


    • Yes, I think it was a bit crazy to make this recipe without a kitchen, but who knows, I might go for something fancy again this weekend. Some people do not learn quickly, you know… 😉


  7. My goodness.. I’m impressed that you would even think about blogging whilst going through renovations on this scale! Loved your story of running through the plastic.. I agree, it would make a great video! I’ve never heard of mycryo.. I’m off to take a look. Anything that can make scallops look that pretty is worth it. What an excellent and cheerful dinner this is! xx


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