SCALLOP-SHRIMP-BACON KABOBS

Summer is coming, and that means the outdoor grill is coming into its own again. And since I prefer working the grill when it isn’t blazingly hot outside…kabobs for dinner! What makes them so tasty is the bacon, though I did use it sparingly so it wouldn’t overpower the seafood. A winner!

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp minced cilantro

8 slices turkey bacon, halved horizontally

32 medium-sized shrimp

16 large scallops

1 lemon, sliced into 8 wedges

1 lime, sliced into 8 wedges

8 skewers (I used bamboo)

1) Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat

2) In small bowl, mix olive oil, chili powder, salt, pepper, and cilantro; set aside

3) Wrap 16 shrimp (reserving 16) in bacon halves;

4) Assemble 8 kabobs on skewers as follows: lemon slice, bacon-wrapped shrimp, scallop, naked shrimp, bacon-wrapped shrimp, scallop, naked shrimp, lime slice; brush tops of kabobs with half the chili-cilantro oil

5) Place kabobs on grill, chili-cilantro oil side down; cook 5-7 minutes; brush tops of kabobs with remaining chili-cilantro oil and turn; grill 5-7 minutes until shrimp and scallops are just cooked through; serve with a nice salad

Serves: 4

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SCALLOPS WITH MUSHROOM-GREEN BEAN-KALAMATA BALSAMIC SAUCE

As pricey as scallops are, the recipe had better be good when I plunk down hard-earned money for these delectable treats. Enter mushrooms, green beans, kalamata olives, and balsamic vinegar. Good recipe 🙂

Note: Consider warming oven-safe dinner plates in oven (170 degrees works well) while you’re cooking. It’s very little extra work and prevents the entree from cooling on its journey from kitchen to dining room (no excuse for scarfing down your lovingly prepared creation).

1 lb sea scallops

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tbsp dried minced shallots

1 tsp dried basil

1-1/2 cups fresh green beans, sliced into 1″ pieces

8 oz sliced white mushrooms

1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp minced parsley

sea salt

ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees

2) Pat scallops dry (very important for a pretty seared surface)

3) Heat 2 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp) in large skillet over medium heat; right before skillet starts smoking, add scallops and cook 1-2 minutes each side; transfer scallops from skillet to oven-safe plate and pop in oven to keep warm

4) To skillet add reserved 2 tbsp olive oil, shallots, and basil; stir; add green beans and cook 2 minutes; add mushrooms and Kalamata olives and cook 3-4 minutes; add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and butter; stirring often, cook 2-3 minutes; stir in parsley and lightly season with salt and pepper; remove from heat

5) Divide scallops between plates and spoon sauce over those lovely little gems; serve immediately

Serves: 4

ORANGE-RED ONION-GREEN OLIVE SCALLOP SALAD

Though seafood is pretty low on my favorite food list, scallops are an exception–some have been so-so, but most are fabulous. And this scallop salad is on the fabulous end of the scale. Really, the only way you can go slightly wrong is if your scallops don’t achieve a lovely sear, so pat-pat-pat those babies dry before adding them to the skillet. Three guy thumbs and one gal thumb up!

Orange-Red Onion-Green Olive Scallop Salad

3 oranges, peel cut away and discarded; orange quartered and sliced thin

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup pitted and sliced green olives

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1-1/2 lbs large sea scallops, patted very dry (important!)

sea salt

ground black pepper

4 cups fresh baby spinach

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1) To a large bowl add oranges, onion, and green olive; add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp) and vinegar and toss to coat; refrigerate

2) To large skillet over medium-high heat add reserved 1 tbsp olive oil; add scallops to pan and cook 2-3 minutes each side until just done in center; lightly season with salt and pepper and remove from heat

3) Divide spinach between 4 plates and top with orange-red onion-green olive mixture; top with scallops and scatter with parsley; serve

Servings: 4

MINT-PEA SOUP WITH SCALLOP-POBLANO RELISH

This soup was inspired by Sheryl Crow’s “Spring Pea and Mint Soup with Scallop Ceviche” from the If It Makes You Healthy cookbook. Naturally, I had to tweak the recipe to not only make it easier to prepare but to fit our family’s tastes. And what a delight–a light, refreshing soup perfectly complemented by a zingy scallop relish. Thumbs up!

Mint-Pea Soup with Scallop-Poblano Soup

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 cup diced red onion, divided

4 cups vegetable broth

1 lb frozen peas (fresh is nice too, of course)

2 tbsp chopped mint leaves

3 tbsp fresh lime juice, divided

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/3 cup poblano pepper, diced small

1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced small

8 oz scallops, diced small

2 scallions, sliced thin

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1) To large soup pot add 1 tbsp oil (reserving 1 tbsp) and heat over medium-high; add 1/2 cup red onion (reserving 1/2 cup) and cook 7 minutes, stirring often; add vegetable broth and bring to a boil; add peas, mint, 2 tbsp lime juice (reserving 1 tbsp), and black pepper; reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes

2) Meanwhile, to large skillet add 1 tbsp reserved olive oil and heat over medium-high; add reserved 1/2 cup red onion, poblano pepper, and red bell pepper and cook 3 minutes; add scallops, scallions, cilantro, salt, and reserved 1 tbsp lime juice; cook 3 minutes, stirring often; remove from heat

3) Add spinach to soup pot, stir well, and remove soup from heat; using an immersion blender (or regular blender, but be careful–hot, hot, hot!) puree soup

4) Ladle soup in bowls and spoon scallop-poblano relish in center; eat up!

Servings: 4 dinner-sized portions; 8 side portions

ALMOND-SCATTERED SCALLOPS OVER CORN-TOMATO RELISH

I don’t always get scallops right, but more on that in a moment. This dish is perfect summer fare–tasty, light, and quick and easy to prepare. As for getting scallops right (a lovely sear), the trick is to remove excessive moisture before cooking by setting them on a paper-towel-lined plate in the fridge for an hour or so. It makes all the difference. So yum!

Almond Scattered Scallops over Corn Tomato Relish

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

3 scallions, sliced thin

1-1/2 cup frozen kernel corn, thawed (or fresh, of course)

1/4 cup white cooking wine (or non-cooking wine, naturally)

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 cup diced tomatoes

sea salt

ground black pepper

12-16 extra-large scallops, patted dry

1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

lime or lemon wedges

1) To large skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp); heat over medium-high; add scallions and corn and cook, stirring a time or two, 3 minutes; add the cooking wine and, when it boils, reduce heat to low; stir in butter, parsley, and tomatoes and lightly season with salt and pepper; let simmer while preparing scallops

2) To large skillet, add 1 tbsp reserved olive oil; heat over high, add scallops, and cook 2-3 minutes each side (to achieve a good sear, move only when flipping to opposite side); remove from heat

3) Divide corn-tomato relish between 4 plates; arrange 3-4 scallops on top and scatter with almonds; serve with lime or lemon wedges and enjoy!

Servings: 4