Every now and then I look back at a few of my past recipes and give them a face-lift. I decided to do that here with the beautiful sea scallops.
Making two completely different dishes using 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, Scallop Ceviche, And scallop 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.
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 of each serving. This gives the Ceviche great texture and crunch.
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When you’re ready to work with sea scallops, there is a side-muscle on each scallop that needs to be removed. 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.
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. I found less to be more in the final presentation of the Scallop Gratin.
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. I’m allowing the scallops to peek through the topping so the scallops begin to caramelize. The balance, between the two, works perfectly.
Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 13 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheets pans, 6 small gratin dishes, large mixing bowl
Note: Finely diced red onion or a finely diced shallot, either work perfectly in my Sea Scallop Gratin recipe.
Ingredients For Scallop Gratin:
1 pound of cleaned, dried, and quartered sea scallops
6 tablespoons of dry white wine
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely minced (substitute 1/2 red onion, finely minced)
1 teaspoon of Fresno chili, seeded and minced (optional)
2 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of basil leaves, finely chopped
2 lemons, 1 lemon zested, 1 lemon cut into 6 wedges
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of Pernod (anise-flavored liqueur)
2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 heaping cups of Panko (or gluten-free Panko) bread crumbs
6 tablespoons of olive oil
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
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 shallots), minced Fresno chili (optional), fresh finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, 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, divide the topping between the six gratin dishes. Do not completely cover the scallops. This will allow the scallops to caramelize on top.
Cook for 10 to 13 minutes. As soon as they come out of the oven, squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon juice over each one of the Scallop Gratins and serve immediately.
Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 3 1/2 to 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Equipment: 4 Martini glasses, chef’s knife
Ingredients For Scallop Ceviche:
1/2 pound of Sea Scallops, quartered
5 limes, juiced
1/2 a red onion, finely diced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and diced (substitute jalapeno)
1/2 an English (hothouse) cucumber, diced and seeded
2 fresh mangos, diced
2 avocados, sliced
1/2 cup of red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup of yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup of orange bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 to 4 fresh cilantro leaves, per glass
Corn nuts to garnish, 4 to 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.
There you have it, my Sea Scallops Two-Ways, Scallop Ceviche, And Scallop Gratin.