Rosemary Scallop Skewers
By: Jack Mancuso
If you’re looking for a luscious, rustic dish, my rosemary scallop skewers fit the bill. Rosemary has a taste akin to a cross between sage, pepper, and pine. Here, you will be using long cuts of rosemary as your skewer on a griddle. If you don’t want the rosemary leaves to brown during cooking, wrap the ends with aluminum foil before you start cooking.
Tip: If you have finished wood plates, these scallops look totally at home on them when you serve out.
Shopping for Scallops
If you have one in your area, it’s usually best to go to a dedicated fish shop for scallops. No matter where you buy them, however, avoid ones that are very smelly or look oily/wet. Scallops should be firm with a consistency like pork, and the aroma is distinct, like saltwater. Avoid any scallops that have discoloration, or ones where the container has some type of broken seal. Frozen scallops should not have ice crystals on them.
Factoid: Scallops pack a wallop of nutrition. They provide protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12.
Rosemary Scallop Skewers – Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 pound pork belly
- 4 large rosemary branches
- 12 large sea scallops
- 5 Tbs olive oil
- Sea salt
- Cuso’s Lemon Pepper BBQ rub
- Lemon slices (garnish)
- Using a Chef’s knife, cut the pork belly into cubes. Fry them up in an iron pan and set them aside.
- Look at the rosemary. You will notice that the leaves point in one direction. When you skewer your scallops you’ll want to follow that direction (don’t go against the grain).
- Lightly rinse the scallops and place 3 on each rosemary skewer.
- Drizzle the skewers all over with olive oil, followed by an application of salt and my lemon pepper rub.
- Let them sit for 30 minutes at room temperature
- Lather them with pesto
- Using the iron pan with pork belly drippings, cook the skewers one side at a time. You want a golden brown crust.
- Turn and repeat. You’re watching for the scallops to become totally opaque (5 minutes or so)
- Plate the skewers on a bed of mesclun or red leaf lettuce (any lettuce you have is fine. This is just for presentation purposes..
In your search for seafood, you’ll find there are several types of scallops, each of which has slightly different taste or temperature which means they’re good in specific cooking applications.
- Bay Scallops are small and sweet. Their texture is soft, Use bay scallops in chowder, casseroles, or over rice in a sauce. You can also deep fry them or use them in ceviche.
- Calico Scallops are more difficult to find than bay and sea scallops. They are small and well suited to savory sauces over pasta. Linguini anyone?
- Sea Scallops are larger than bay scallops. This is a favored scallop for pan-searing (wrap ‘em in bacon, YUM).
TIP: Look for dry-packed scallops. Wet packed scallops have more weight due to the liquid content, meaning they cost more.
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