Tuesday, July 7, 2009

MexItalian Scallops

Seared Scallops over Basil Peas with Avocado Caprese

My dinner had an identity crisis today. I'm not really sure if it was a balanced mix of cultures or just utterly confused. I haven't cooked sea scallops for a while - they are best eaten within a day or so of buying them, and I have a very hard time planning ahead. But the vegetarian is out tonight, so I got to play in the kitchen. I have a nice little herb garden growing on the window-sill, so I'm always looking for a way to use them. I did a little searching and got inspired by Bobby Flay's scallop-avocado-tortilla chip creation, the Hip Hostess's basil-pea puree, and a Mario Batali scallops alla caprese recipe on Serious Eats. My creative mind is kind of a blender for these things, much like fashion. I try to figure out what's good about something and what goes together well. I ended up with seared scallops over pea-basil-garlic puree with tomato-avocado caprese salad, all topped with a balsamic reduction. It's about 85% ready for unveiling... it still needs a little work. Buttery avocado doesn't match well with firm shaved parmesan. Yet it worked with basil and balsamic vinegar. All-in-all it was yummy enough to make me forget to eat the sourdough roll I baked - not needed with this low-carb spread! This may end up splitting into 2 dishes - a classic Caprese salad with mozzarella and tomatoes with the scallop-pea pile, and a latin version with cilantro-avocado salad and a chili spiced scallop over some kind of corn or corn-cake. We'll see what happens.

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