Grilled Scallops with Pancetta and Basil Aioli

This needs to be prepped the day before. Got that? Good! Because there have been times I've been all set to make a recipe and realized there was something that needed to be done way earlier.

This was deemed a restaurant worthy meal by everyone! Totally worth the price of the dry scallops I got at Whole Foods.

It comes from the book Fish and Shellfish Grilled and Smoked by Kearen Adler and Judith Ferto. If you are looking for an excellent seafood cookbook I highly recommend this one. I've made numerous recipes from it and they've all been outstanding.

Scallop tips: dry scallops work better than previously frozen, and watch them carefully! They're better slightly undercooked than overcooked. Direct high heat is best.

Grilled Scallops with Pancetta and Basil Aioli
serves 4

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs cracked black peppercorns
1 tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 lb sea scallops
1 cup basil aioli
4 thin slices of pancetta

A day in advance combine the olive oil, garlic, peppercorns and lemon juice in a resealable plastic bag and marinate the scallops overnight.

Make the aioli a day in advance (recipe below)

Prepare a hot fire

Meanwhile cook the pancetta in a skillet over med-high heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.

When ready to grill remove the scallops from the grill and place on the grill for about 3 minutes before turning. If the scallops stick, cook them a little longer until they turn easily.

After turning cook a little longer until they are heated through, 1-2 minutes.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the aioli onto 4 serving plates and spread around. Arrange scallops on top and sprinkle with the crumbled pancetta.

Basil Aioli

The original recipe calls for nuking the yolks for 15 seconds. I tried this and ended up with cooked yolks. I make mayo and aioli's all the time with raw yolks and have lived. But if it bothers you or if you are elderly, pregnant, an infant or have a weakened immune system use pasturized egg yolks.

2 large organic egg yolks
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 anchovy fillets, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs chopped basil leaves
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and Tabasco to taste.

Whisk egg yolks together and whisk in add lemon juice through vinegar.

Slowly drizzle in olive oil whisking all the while. When mixture has thickened, season with salt and Tabasco to taste.

If the mixture gets too thick, thin with a little warm water.

Keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Killer Chicken in Green Sauce

After this I promise to lay off the Mexican recipes for a while. Three in a row is enough but Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines to eat in the summer.

Wendy sent me this as part of our recipe exchange. The original source is Mario Batali's babysitter.

I bought boneless skinless thighs and cut them into pieces. I served it on a warm tortilla with a shot of chipotle tabasco and some Crema Mexicana.

This is a definite repeater. It couldn't be easier!

Recipe HERE.

Shrimp and Cotija Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Crema Mexicana

You HAVE to make this recipe ASAP!!! It's so fresh tasting and so good. It does take some time so you may want to make the salsa verde early.

And did I tell you how delicious it is? My boyfriend gave it a solid 10 out of 10 and told me I can make it all the time. I did halve the recipe since it was just the two of us and that worked out well. Ten bucks says we'll be fighting over the leftovers though.

Recipe HERE courtesy of the Bon Appetit June 2009 issue.

Seriously-you need to make this!

Fish Tacos

I love fish tacos! they just scream "summer!" to me. There's a restaurant down the road from me that makes the best fish tacos but I also like to make my own. You really don't need a recipe. Just grill up some firm white fish(I like mahi-mahi) and add to a tortilla with accompaniments of your choice. I like Crema Mexicana, salsa, red onions marinaded in red wine vinegar, and avocado.

I do like the marinade from THIS recipe and use it frequently. It's also the recipe that gave me idea for using the crema and the red onions.

Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp

It's a good thing I haven't eaten much today because I just devoured two servings of Melissa Clark's Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp. It is so easy, flavorful and there's minimal cleanup. I had mine with bread but when I make this the next 1000 times I'll probably serve rice as a side. Bread works too though.

I used a half teaspoon of ground cumin and coriander in place of the whole. That was the only change I made.

You really need to make this ASAP.

Recipe HERE

Avocados with Strawberry Salsa and Crispy Tortilla Strips

My friend Wendy and I are doing a little recipe exchange and she sent me this dish to try. I've made fruit salsa before but never with strawberries.

Strawberries, chiles and avocados? What's not to love? This is a great summer salad and not unhealthy. The salad also has a lot of options for a cool presentation but I was in a hurry. It's also easy and I almost always have the ingredients on hand so I'll definitely be making it afgain. I think next time I might use scallion instead of white onion in the salsa. I just like them better.

I confess I did not fry my own tortilla strips as I had a bag of Mission Strips on hand.

Thanks Wendy!

Recipe from Gourmet June 1997 HERE


I'm more of a cook than a baker and generally don't like sweets and pastries. But my friend Tammie was having a tea party and the first idea for food that popped into my head was, "scones!"

I learned that scones are very easy-unless you want to get a perfect triangle shape. Mine weren't but that's ok. At least they weren't hard and flat.

The two scones pictured here are Dried Cherry Buttermilk Scones from the March 1990 issue of Gourmet. You can find the recipe HERE.

They were very good but I didn't like them nearly as much as the Old-Fashioned Lemon Cream Scones, which were heavenly. This recipe came to me from my friend Susan who does bake.

Old-Fashioned Lemon Cream Scones

From The Best Quick Breads (Canada, UK), by Beth Hensperger.

One bite of this warm, homemade scone and you'll be transformed into a lover of these exquisitely simple tea breads. The crust should be a thin, slightly crunchy exterior band over a dense, yet moist and fluffy, interior. The cream is important in producing the crumb, but substitute milk if you must. This basic recipe is the springboard for many variations, but I always come back to the plain scones. Served with butter and homemade fresh strawberry or peach jam, they cannot be beat. If you desire scones made with fresh summer berries, rather than mixing them into the dough, incorporate them by gently sandwiching them between two rounds of the dough and pinching the outer edges before cutting the dough into wedges. This technique keeps the berries from being squashed, losing their shape, and bleeding heavily into the dough.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar (optional), for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 400�F (205�C). Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Cut in the butter with a fork or a heavy-duty electric mixer until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl or 1-cup measure, whisk together the eggs and cream. Add to the dry mixture and stir until a sticky dough is formed.

Turn out the shaggy dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently just until the dough holds together, about 6 times. Divide into 2 equal portions and pat each into a 1-inch-thick round about 6 inches in diameter. With a knife or straightedge, cut each round into quarters, creating 4 wedges. The scones can also be formed by cutting the dough using a 3-inch biscuit cutter to make 10 to 12 smaller scones.

Place the scones about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake in the center of the oven until crusty and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately with butter and homemade jam, or cool on a rack and freeze in heavy-duty freezer bags for up to a month.

Yield: Makes 8 scones

Notes: The scones made using a 3-inch biscuit cutter are HUGE! Both in diameter and height! I would opt for a smaller cutter.