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.


Kim said...

Hey. I'm making this Tuesday for my very excited husband!

KristiB said...

I just made the aioli again for some chicken.

Let me know how you like it!