Learn to eat seasonally, with friends, in A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis, including recipes for a Tapas Party, like Octopus Salad with Pickled Onions and Pimentón; Potato and Salt Cod Tortilla; Sea Scallops ala Plancha; Black Paella with Squid and Shrimp; and Membrillo and Sheep's-Milk Cheese.
One of the delights of the winter season is the availability of good shellfish, especially sea scallops. Ask your fishmonger for freshly shucked scallops, often called "diver" scallops. A good way to cook them is a la plancha, on a hot griddle or cast-iron pan, which caramelizes the exterior and keeps them juicy inside.
Remove the "feet"—the tough muscle that attaches scallops to their shell—and discard (or add them to a fish stock). Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Heat a large griddle or cast-iron skillet to nearly smoking. Add the scallops in one layer, being careful not to crowd them. Brown the scallops well, letting them cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the scallops over and cook for another 2 minutes.
Put the scallops on a platter and spoon a little green sauce onto each one.
Surround with lime wedges.
Makes about 1 cup.
Put 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems roughly chopped, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 sliced serrano chile, and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground, in a blender. Season lightly with salt and add 1/2 cup olive oil. Blend to a smooth puree.
This page created December 2008
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