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Picatta Scallops

Picatta Scallops

Back in my younger days growing up on Long Island, NY, my dad would take us out to Greenport where we would go dive and catch scallops.  When I saw catch, I mean tons of them!  Usually enough to fill two entire garbage pails, full!  It was so much fun to do, and I always looked forward to a family day of boating, catching those hard-shelled creatures and playing in the sun.  Once the sun started to set, that is when the work began.  We would go home, lay out tarps on the garage floor and start cleaning the scallops.  For all of the fun we had catching them, this was the exact opposite…not fun at all and it would take hours and hours. 

The next best part that I remember is when Mom would bread and fry up these bay scallops for dad.  I swear, I think the man could eat his body weight in those things.  Understand, bay scallops are only about the size of the tip of your thumb.  Not exactly what you might want to call giant.  About once a year though, Dad would flip the script and make Mom a meal that she loved.  Sea scallops over pasta in a lemony piccata sauce.  Mom was not a big seafood eater, but boy did she love this meal.  I truly believe that it was in part, if not entirely because my Dad was not a cook.  Despite that, you could just tell that he took great pleasure in preparing this decadent yet simple meal for her.  I’d give anything to be back in that kitchen watching the whole thing go down.  It was usually on their anniversary or on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is a day of appreciation, celebration, and love for the incredible women who have shaped our lives. It’s a day where we strive to make every moment special, every gesture meaningful. And what better way to express gratitude than through the art of cooking, with a dish that embodies elegance and flavor: Scallops Piccata over Pasta, cooked to perfection on the MiniMax Big Green Egg over Fogo charcoal briquets.

In the realm of culinary delights, few dishes rival the delicate balance of flavors found in scallops piccata. The tender, succulent scallops, kissed by a tangy lemon and caper sauce, served over a bed of al dente pasta, create a symphony for the taste buds. It’s a dish that speaks volumes with every bite, a testament to the culinary prowess of those who prepare it.

But why confine such culinary excellence to the confines of a traditional kitchen? Enter the MiniMax Big Green Egg, a compact yet mighty grill that opens up a world of culinary possibilities. With its innovative design and precise temperature control, it’s the perfect tool for elevating outdoor cooking to new heights.

And let’s not forget the heart of any good barbecue: the fuel. Fogo charcoal briquets, known for their superior quality and consistency, provide the perfect foundation for achieving that signature smoky flavor that pairs so beautifully with seafood.

So, armed with the finest ingredients and the most reliable tools, we set out to create a Mother’s Day feast fit for a queen. The stage is set, the charcoal is lit, and the grill is prepped for action. As the flames dance and the charcoal glows, anticipation fills the air.

The scallops, fresh from the sea, are carefully seasoned and placed in an oiled carbon steel pan on the grill, where they sizzle and sear to perfection. Meanwhile, a pot of pasta bubbles away on the side burner, eagerly awaiting its moment in the spotlight.

As the scallops reach their golden-brown perfection, they are gently removed from the grill and set aside to rest. In the same pan, a medley of lemon juice, wine, and capers are sautéed until fragrant, creating a sauce that sings with brightness and depth.

With a deft hand, the pasta is tossed in the sauce, ensuring that every strand is coated in its tangy embrace. Finally, the scallops are nestled atop the pasta, their succulent sweetness contrasting beautifully with the vibrant flavors of the sauce.

As we gather around the table, the air thick with anticipation, we raise our glasses in a toast to the woman of the hour: Mom. With each bite, we taste not only the love and care that went into preparing this meal but also the countless memories shared around the table.

And as the last bite is savored and the plates are cleared, we are reminded once again of the power of food to bring us together, to nourish not only our bodies but also our souls. So here’s to you, Mom, for all that you are and all that you do. Happy Mother’s Day.  So remember to #GetOutAndGrill we look forward to seeing you the next time on The FOGO Life.  Captain Ron…..OUT!

For The Scallops:

  1. Prepare the scallops by using your thumb to remove the piece of side muscle on each scallop. Once it is removed, lay the scallops out on a sheet of paper towels.  Sprinkle each one with Jacobsen’s Garlic Salt, cover with another paper towel and allow them to rest for a minimum of ½ hour.  This will allow the surface to dry in order to help build a golden crust later.
  2. Fill your Kick Ash Basket in your grill with FOGO Briquets and prepare it for direct grilling over medium hot heat.  Do this by placing 2 FOGO Fire Starters in a Blazaball, set it in the center of the charcoal and use your grill torch to light them.  This meal can also be easily done on a stove top as well.  The choice is yours.
  3. Place your carbon steel pan on the grill and coat the bottom lightly with the oil. Once the oil is heated and shimmering, place the scallops in the pan leaving space in between each one.  After a minute or so, use the tongs to check the bottom of each one.  Once you’ve achieved a golden crust, flip each one over and repeat the process.  Once both sides have the perfect sear, remove them from the pan and place on the cooling rack.  Reserve all liquids and cooking remnants in the pan for making the sauce.  The burnt-on crumbs are known as fond.

For The Pasta:

  1. Fill your Dutch Oven with enough water to cover the pasta while it is cooking. Add plenty of salt to the water prior to cooking.  The water should taste like the ocean for proper flavor.  Bring to a boil. 
  2. Once boiling, cook according to the directions on the package. I recommend cooking it al dente so that it still has a good bite to it and is not too soft.   
  3. Using a Serving fork, twirl the pasta and lay it on a plate like a bed of pasta.

For The Sauce:

  1. Using the same pan as you cooked the scallops in, squeeze the juice of one lemon into it and add the wine. Bring to a boil and scrape with the whisk to deglaze the pan.  Add the capers, a pinch of salt and whisk to combine.  Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the three pats of frozen butter, whisking constantly until the butter is melted and combined fully.

Plating:

  1. Start with the plate of pasta. Lay each scallop on the bed of pasta.  Take the pan of sauce and either ladle some over the scallops or simply pour it right over the top.  Use your Santoku Knife to chop some fresh parsley for garnish.  Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top of the dish.
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