Sunday, July 5, 2009

Food, Friends and Fireworks

Some of my favorite summer evenings involve pulling things from the refrigerator and whipping something together worthy of sharing with friends who have likewise done the same.

Yesterday, the 4th of July was one of those nights.

As luck would have it, I had just roasted a bunch of tomatoes the night before.

(Cut tomatoes in half lay out on a baking sheet drizzle with olive oil, Sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast for 4 hours at 270 degrees.)

I had some fresh mozzarella and pesto in the fridge, and some nice quality premade pizza crust in the freezer, left over from a food styling job.

The combination made for a tasty appetizer.

Next, I had some beautiful scallops in the freezer,  I wanted to try something a little different.

I remembered reading about a recipe for cocoa seared scallops.  I looked up a recipe on line and gave it my own twist.

Cocoa Seared Scallops with a Caramelized Orange Sauce

Cocoa Crust

3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1 tablespoon Anch
o Chiile powder
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
combine the above ingredients in a shallow bowl.  Set aside.

Caramelized Orange Sauce

2 shallots minced
2 gloves garlic minced
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
juice of 3 oranges
1 cup white wine 
1/2 cup seafood or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Saute shallots and garlic  a large saucepan until translucent. Add parsley and pepper. Saute about 5 minutes. Add the orange juice. Cook until think and caramelized. Deglaze the pan with the wine. reduce by half.  Add stock. 
Slowly reduced by half.  Add cream. Simmer until slightly thickened. Finish with butter, salt and pepper.  Cool slightly and strain.  Hold for plating  with scallops.

Both the cocoa mixture and the sauce are enough for 4 dozen scallops.

Rinse and drain scallops.  Pat dry.
Dip scallop top and bottom in the cocoa mixture. repeat until all scallops are coated.
Heat a frying pan or griddle with a little oil. place scallops on hot griddle. Searing the surface.
Cook for about 2 minute depending upon the size of scallops you are using. With a pair of tongs carefully  the scallop turn over. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.  Be careful not to overcook or scallops will be tough.


Spoon sauce onto individual plates,  Place the desired number of scallops on top and serve.

Nancy and Burt served up some tasty grilled sausages and turkey burgers.

Peter and Gretchen contributed a fruit crisp which offered up a delicious combination of berries and peaches. The crisp was topped with oats and crumbled sugar cookies.  Yum!

And then there were the fireworks.  The official ones the village sent up, and those set off by various groups of neighbors. 


  1. I like those fresh looking and big scallops.

  2. Why thank you. They were really tasty.