Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Dinners: Grilled Sea Scallops with a Cumin and Garlic Rub

Grilled Sea Scallops with a Cumin and Garlic Rub

Happy September! In honor of Labor Day,  and because some friends have asked for cooking suggestions, I'm posting my usual Monday post--on Sunday. 
Scallops are one of those delectable sea foods that I feel like I’ve “forgotten”  about when it comes to cooking (I enjoy them in restaurants!), but, my friends, I’m bringing ‘em back.
Actually, not too long ago, on NPR, I heard a story about sea scallops (and Maine Lobsterman giving the farming of sea scallops a go), and it reminded me of how tasty these tasty fruits of the sea are. Actually---they can be lovely with just a bit of garlic, butter, wine, and herbs… Here’s a bit of a different twist, that could be a fun treat for Labor Day grilling soirée. In the book, we suggest serving them atop Grilled Pineapple Coconut Rice (in Latin Grill!). But you could serve them atop a bed of fresh lettuce, withf fresh cilantro and diced tomato on top. (Also--this rub could work well on grilled fish--and chicken!)
Adapted from  Latin Grill: Simple and Sultry Food for Red-Hot Dinners and Parties, By Rafael Palomino with Arlen Gargagliano, (Photos by Dan Goldberg) ©2010, Chronicle Books

Serves 4 as a main meal, and 8 as a side or appetizer

1/4 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 large sea scallops, side muscles trimmed, halved horizontally
8 metal skewers

In a large heavy skillet, heat the  olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and lower the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cook, covered, for about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking over the lowest possible heat until the garlic is barely colored to pale brown and tender, about 8 minutes. Stir it frequently and be sure not to let the garlic brown too much, or it will be bitter. Add the cumin, cilantro, and lime and purée just until blended. Set aside.   

Thread the scallops onto 4 skewers (3 to a skewer) and coat them with the braised garlic mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Light a fire in a charcoal or gas grill.  Grill until the scallops are just opaque in the center, occasionally brushing with more garlic, about 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

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