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Asian-Influenced Scallop Amuse-Bouche

Asian-Influenced Scallop Amuse-Bouche
 

The Maine scallop season closes this week so I made sure I got a share of the last catch from the Port Clyde Fresh Catch rep at the Portland Farmers' Market on Saturday. Due to resource conservation requirements the scallop season in Maine is currently only 70 days a year, so for those two months or so it's a little scallop festival every week in our house. 

This last hurrah for the scallop season was a variation of my favorite way to enjoy them: quickly seared, with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon, served simply. A seared scallop brings a delicate taste of the sea and a pleasing feel to the mouth, yielding readily to the tooth but not at all mushy or chewy. The main concern when combining them with other ingredients is to not let anything overpower their delicate flavor. 

With this dish, a simple amuse-bouche, I used my homemade anise/cayenne-spiced "Graham Crackers with a Kick" as the base. Sweet and savory at the same time, their crunchiness and subtle spiciness complements without overwhelming the scallops. A sweet, juicy, roasted cherry tomato, a cucumber slice for added crunch, a dab of hoisin sauce and a little crown of lemon zest completes this tasty bite. 

(Want more scallop recipes? Click here to go to a directory of all the scallop recipes in the Stepencooks recipe archive.)

Asian-Influenced Scallop Amuse-Bouche 

Print (recipe only).

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 large scallops, about a half-pound
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 8 slices English seedless cucumber
  • 8 homemade "Graham Crackers with a Kick" (or substitute other crackers)
  • 3 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • Zest of one lemon

Method

1. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, prepare a plate with cooking spray (or a scant amount of olive oil) and place the tomatoes, cut side up, on the plate. Roast about 40 minutes at 300º degrees. (This can be done in a toaster oven if you wish.) The tomatoes should dry out slightly and the skin will start to shrivel. Set aside. 

2. Wash the scallops and dry them well. (Making sure they are dry is the key to getting a nice caramelized crust on the scallops.) Place 1 teaspoon olive oil in a heavy skillet on high heat. When the oil just starts to smoke place the scallops in the pan and cook them, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Remove the scallops to a side plate. Squeeze the lemon juice over them and scatter on a pinch or two of salt. 

3. To assemble, cut each scallop in half to make two disks. Place one uncaramelized scallop slice on each of the crackers, then stack on the cucumber slices, roasted tomato halves and the cararmelized scallop slices (crust side up). Top with a dab of hoisin sauce and a little knot of the lemon zest. 

Nutritional Estimate: 4 Servings. Per serving: 191  Calories; 10 g Total Carbs; 0 g Dietary Fiber; 6 g Sugars; 3 g Fat; 22 mg Cholesterol; 182 mg Sodium; 10 g Protein. Weight Watchers: 3 points.

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