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Monday, June 24, 2013

Lazy Days of Summer - Two Simple Seafood Starters

Super local greens, Photo: NK 
Is there anything better than a lazy Summer weekend? 

This last one was a winner thanks to beautiful weather, a Super Moon, and doing a whole lotta nothing. 

Some of the highlights: 



Fresh and delicious local greens from our neighbor's garden - Thank you, Freddie!




Checking out some beachy yard sale kitsch

Photo: NK 




















And of course, a nice bottle of this  (goes great with seafood, but we'll get to that soon).  

Lieb Cellars, bridge lane rose, Photo: NK 


My perfect weekend will almost always include a nice home-cooked dinner. Staying on theme with our ever-growing seafood obsession (check out our previous fish feast HERE), I chose to make two deceptively simple light and elegant appetizers.

For each of these recipes, all you'll need is about 20 minutes, a grill or grill pan, and a very good fish market. Lazy summer evening approved. 


Grilled Scallop Salsa Cruda

Grilled Baby Octopus with Orange, Chile, & Olives 



Grilled Scallop Salsa Cruda
Lightly Adapted from the New York Times
Serves 2-3 as an appetizer 

Ingredients: 
8 large dry Sea Scallops, small side muscle removed and discarded
2 Tablespoons fruity Olive Oil + extra for brushing Scallops 
Photo: NK
1 large very ripe Tomato, roughly chopped
1/2 Tablespoon finely minced Garlic
1/3 Cup Italian Parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced Jalapeno, optional
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Crusty Bread or Tortilla Chips for serving 

Method: 
1. Heat a grill or stovetop grill pan until very hot. 

2. Brush Scallops on both sides with some Olive Oil and sprinkle them with Salt and Pepper. 

3. Sear Scallops on one side for about 3 minutes until grill marks appear. Flip them to the other side and cook another 1-2 minutes until firm and opaque. Set Scallops aside and allow to cool. 

4. Meanwhile, mix all other ingredients together in a medium bowl to create the Salsa. 

5. Cut Scallops into quarters and toss them into salsa. Stir. 

6. Taste and season with Salt and Pepper. Serve room temperature or slightly chilled. 
Enjoy!


Grilled Scallop Salsa Cruda, Photo: NK 


Next up, delicious Baby Octopus with Spicy Chile, Orange, and Oil-Cured Olives. If you are averse to Octopus you could easily adapt this recipe to Calamari. The cook time may change just a bit and Calamari is done when it is opaque white and firm but not overly rubbery. Enjoy! 

Grilled Octopus with Orange, Chile & Olives
Adapted from Mario Batali's Italian Grill (which is a great cookbook, by the way)
Serves 2-3 as an appetizer 

Ingredients:
About 6 Baby Octopi - 1/2-3/4 Lb total, depending on size
2.5 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus more for brushing Octopus
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
About 12 Oil Cured Black Olives, pitted and roughly chopped  
1 dried Red Chile, finely chopped (or 3/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper)
Zest of 1 Medium Orange
4 Orange Slices
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 Chives, chopped (optional) 

Method:
1. For the dressing - Combine Oil, Vinegar, Dried Chile, Orange Zest, Orange Juice, a generous pinch of Salt and Pepper and the Olives. 
2. Heat a grill or grill pan until very hot. Brush Octopi with Olive Oil and sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. 
3. Place Octopi on the hottest part of the grill and cook until charred and crispy, about 4 minutes per side.
4. To serve, plate Octopus with Orange Wedges and drizzle the Octopus with dressing (you may not need it all). Garnish with optional Chives and serve immediately. 

Bon appetit! 



And happy summer. 

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