Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Sea Scallops Two Ways- Scallop Ceviche And Scallop Gratin


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Every now and then I look back at some of my recipes to see if I can update them in some way. Using scallops I decided to do just that. Making two completely different dishes with this one ingredient. If you remember, my original Sea Scallop Gratin was made as an entrée. As delicious as that dish was, I wanted to tweak it slightly. This time both of my scallop dishes are appetizers, Sea Scallops Two Ways- Ceviche And Gratin.

They’re delicious, great for entertaining, and simple to make. The Ceviche is a gluten-free dish. If you choose to use a gluten-free Panko, the gratin can be too. The specific change I wanted to make is in how I used the topping for this gratin. In my original recipe, the topping totally covered the top of the scallops. Even though the topping is an essential part of this dish, I wanted the scallops to peek through a bit more, allowing them to caramelize on the top. It’s really about the balance between the topping and the scallops themselves.

I’m working on the video ( right now so I can show you first hand how super simple these dishes are to make.

Anyway, let’s talk about my fresh mango and cucumber ceviche. I’m putting my spin on a Peruvian style Ceviche. They have these large popcorn kernels in Peru that you just can’t seem to get here. I just bought some corn nuts! You’ve seen those salty large corn kernels they sell in convenience stores. I just sprinkle of few on top and BOOM! This gives the Ceviche a bit of a crunch for texture.

When you’re ready to work with sea scallops,  there is a muscle on the side of each scallop that needs to be removed. This muscle is what holds the scallop to its shell. You don’t want to eat it. The pictures above help to illustrate what I mean. You also want to always pat the scallops dry using a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before continuing on with your recipes.

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Marinating seafood in citrus is very common in Latin cuisine and a great way to experience fresh scallops. If you decide to make these two appetizers, start with the Ceviche. You need to get the scallops cleaned and quartered, and submerged, into the citrus marinade.

My Scallop Gratin is just as easy to make. I’ve made some slight changes from my original recipe. Really it’s in the presentation of the Scallop Gratin that makes a big difference in the final dish.

It doesn’t matter if you’re making them as a main course, using larger gratin dishes, or as an appetizer using smaller ones. The method is still the same. This time I’m not completely covering the scallops with the topping. Allowing the scallops to peek through the topping letting them caramelize. The balance between the two works.

Scallop Gratin:
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: 2 baking sheets and 6 small grain dishes
Yields: 6 servings
Cooking Time 10-13 minutes at 425 degrees F.

1 pound of cleaned, dried and quartered sea scallops
6 tablespoons of dry white wine
6 large minced garlic cloves
1/2 a minced red onion (or minced shallot)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon of finely chopped basil leaves
zest of a lemon
2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of Pernod (anise-flavored liqueur)
2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 1/2 heaping cups of Panko (or gluten-free Panko) bread crumbs
6 tablespoons of olive oil
6 wedges of lemon to squeeze over the top of each dish when baked

Take 6 small gratin dishes, place on two baking sheets. Equally divided a pound of the cleaned, dried, and quartered scallops into each dish. Next, add one tablespoon of dry white wine to each of the dishes.

In a large bowl, add one stick of softened unsalted butter. To the softened butter add minced garlic, finely minced red onion (or minced shallot), crushed red pepper flakes (optional), fresh finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, fresh finely chopped basil, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, Pernod (anise-flavored  liqueur), Kosher salt, black pepper, Panko (or gluten-free Panko) breadcrumbs, and olive oil. Mix all these ingredients together to make the topping.

Using a spoon, equally divided the topping among the six gratin dishes but not completely covering the scallops. This will allow the scallops to caramelize better, plus I really like the presentation better.

Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for 10-13 minutes. As soon as they come out of the oven, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over each one of the Scallop Gratin and serve immediately.

Scallop Ceviche:
Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 3 1/2 to 4 hours

1/2 pound of quartered Sea Scallops
5 freshly juiced limes
1/2 a finely diced red onion
1 finely diced and seeded jalapeno
1/2 an English cucumber diced and seeded
2 diced fresh mango
2 sliced fresh avocado
1/2 cup of finely diced, mixed, red yellow and orange bell pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
3-4 fresh cilantro leaves per glass
corn nuts to garnish. 4-5 corn nuts per glass

First, place the quartered scallops in a bowl (that has a lid to fit). Add the diced bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, Kosher salt, olive oil and fresh lime juice to the bowl. Stir all the ingredients together. Make sure all the ingredients are submerged in the lime juice. Place the lid on and refrigerate for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Every half hour goes in a stir the ingredients. Then press all the ingredients down into the lime juice so they’re completely submerged.  When the scallops are completely opaque in color, they are ready.

At this point, slice the avocado spritzing them with a little lime juice so they stay bright green. Next, dice the mango and cucumber. Have 4 glasses or whatever you choose to serve your ceviche in ready.  Take the Ceviche out of the frig. Using a spoon, place an equal amount of the scallops with the diced bell peppers, jalapenos, and onions in each glass.

Add to each one equally, the diced mango, and cucumber. Garnish with avocado, cilantro leaves, and corn nuts. Place the glasses on a sheet tray and refrigerate until ready to serve.



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The Grand Bohemian Orlando

This was a special Christmas for Steve and I. We decided that we would do something a little different and go out to eat on Christmas. I’ve heard so much about the Bohemian Hotel and the buffet they offer, on the holidays. It was amazing! The decor from the time you enter is absolutely breathtaking. They’re known for supporting local artists and their works are displayed all over the walls.

We started into the lounge, on the main, floor where the atmosphere was somewhat casual but relaxing.  Then we went up to the 5th floor, for the buffet. We arrived a little early.

Not knowing what to expect, we were escorted to a waiting room that was set up for all those who had reservations for the holiday dinner. The room had a beautifully decorated tree, artwork by the local artist covering the walls. There were tables set up along the windows where you were able to people watch from above. They had a table set up with beautiful decanters of water flavored with fresh strawberries, lemons, and cucumbers.

Then again, we were escorted, and shown the different rooms for the buffet. They were set up around a large room, in the center, where there were two musicians,  a piano player accompanied by a clarinet player.

There was the carving room, an omelet station, a room full of a variety of breakfast items, then the seafood room.

In the main area, the dessert and crepe tables were set up. There was a huge chocolate fountain with all kinds of fresh fruits and cookies for dipping, and an awesome Vodka bar available with all fixings to make custom Bloody Marys.

It was a wonderful dining experience. Located at 325 S. Orange Ave. Orlando, Fl. 32801 or you can visit their website at

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Shrimp Cocktail

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It’s really all about taking a simple dish and making it look like a million dollars. I mean we eat with our eyes first, right?

When I make Shrimp Cocktail for an appetizer, I like to buy the extra large jumbo shrimp. When you’re buying shrimp, you’ll notice a number underneath the price, there are numbers like 16-20, or 8-10. These numbers let you know about how many shrimp are in a pound. The smaller the numbers, the larger the shrimp.

I like to leave the tails on. They allow you to have something to hold onto while dipping. I also like to steam my shrimp, not boil. Sometimes I may even roast them.

Once I’ve cleaned and prepared the shrimp, I season them simply with Kosher salt,  freshly cracked black pepper, and garlic powder. I toss them really well in a bowl so they are all nice and coated with the seasoning. I have a pot that has a removable basket with a glass lid. I like the glass lid for this because it allows me to see when the shrimp are done.

When plating, I place some leafy greens on the bottom and lay the shrimp down around the cocktail sauce. Having a homemade cocktail sauce or a really good store-bought one works just fine.  Simple but elegant.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4-5 minutes per batch, time may vary
Total Time: 25 minutes

1 1/2 pounds extra-large jumbo shrimp, 8-10 count
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
Your favorite cocktail sauce
garnish with lemon slices
leafy greens for garnish

Use a paring knife to cut up the back end of each shrimp, exposing the vein if there is one. Rinse out any dirt or vein with cold water. Leave the shell to the tail on each one.

Once I’ve cleaned and prepared the shrimp, season them simply with Kosher salt,  freshly cracked black pepper, and garlic powder. A lot of the seasoning will fall off during the steaming process.

In a large bowl, toss them really so they all get nice and coated with the seasoning. I have a pot that has a removable basket with a glass lid. I like the glass lid for this because it allows me to see when the shrimp are done.

Fill the bottom of the steamer pot with water to the “fill line”. The water should not touch the shrimp. Turn the heat to medium. Bring the water to a simmer.  Next, place the seasoned shrimp in the steamer basket and lower the basket into the pot. Place the lid on. Cook for around 4-5 minutes, depending on their size or until they are cooked through and tender. If you don’t have a large steamer, steam the shrimp in two batches. Do not overcrowd the shrimp.

Note: A great rule to follow when cooking shrimp.
Once the shrimp form the shape of the letter “C” they are done. If they form the shape of the letter “O”, they’re “overcooked. Do not overfill the steamer basket with shrimp. You may have to do this in batches

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MKT Restaurant And Bar San Francisco

Another hot spot in the Bay Area is the MKT Restaurant and Bar. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel at 757 Market Street. San Francisco, CA. 94103. My daughter, Melissa, recently had the opportunity to dine at this restaurant. She was really impressed. She sent me a couple of picture of what she ordered.

She had the potato soup, and for her main course, the gnocchi.  As you can see the presentation is awesome! Here’s a peek at the menu.

You can just click on the menu to enlarge the page. Here’s a couple of pictures from the inside.

If you visiting the Bay area, and want to be pampered with all the goes along with dining out, make this one of your destinations. For more information visit


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