The other night I made Caramelized Scallops with Chimichurri.
Chimichurri is a popular herb sauce in Argentina. It is used as a marinade and as a condiment on most grilled meats.
The way I look at it, Chimichurri is to Argentina like Salsa is to Mexico like Kimchi is to Korea.
I was discussing Chimichurri one day on the Addicted to BBQ forum and a guy posted his recipe for Island Chimichurri for seafood.
One night I made his recipe word for word and fell in love with it.
But that was the last time I made it exactly as written, but not because it isn’t fabulous.
You should know by now that I don’t follow directions very well.
Or at all.
When I make chimichurri, it ends up being a little of this and a little of that. And of course, a taste (or ten) to make sure it’s just right.
I use Scallions, Tarragon, Cilantro, Garlic, Honey, Olive Oil, Lemon, and Lime Juice:
You won’t need to chop all of the herbs, just some of each:
Chop them up and put them into a bowl.
Chop up a couple of cloves of garlic:
And add that to the bowl:
Take a whiff — Wow, so good!
Add the juice of a lemon and a lime:
A little bit of honey:
And just enough olive oil to have this consistency:
You want the it to be like Pico de gallo, moist but not runny.
Add a dash of salt & pepper and taste. Add more of what you need, if anything — honey? salt? nothing?
Once it tastes the way you like, set the chimichurri aside.
Go ahead and sneak another bite. I did.
Make sure you have a good source for purchasing quality scallops and please make sure they smell sweet and ocean-like.
Have you ever eaten one of the pink/orange scallops?
The orange is from the roe, or coral, in a female scallop. It is bright orange and sometimes colors the adductor muscle (the part of the scallop we eat).
I think it’s sweeter than the others.
Give the scallops a good rinse:
See that attachment on the side?
That’s the “catch” muscle and you’ll want to remove it. It’s tough and nasty.
Simply peel it away from the scallop like this:
Dry the scallops so they’ll sear and caramelize.
To caramelize, we’re going to dip them in sugar.
Put a little bit of sugar on a plate and lay each scallop on top:
Turn over and coat the other side with a layer of sugar:
Don’t forget to season with a little dash of salt and pepper.
Bring your pan to medium high heat and add a little oil and butter.
Put the scallops in the pan and do not move them.
After about 3 minutes, flip them over.
Look at that deep caramel color. That is exactly what you are looking for.
The sugar is going to make a very dark color in your pan.
Just concentrate on the end result and don’t worry about that black goo. It will come out.
Remember the pink/orange scallop? It’s now white.
After another 2-3 minutes, you’re ready to serve.
Be sure to put the bowl of extra chimichurri on the table while you eat because you’ll want more of it.
And if you’re anything like us, you’ll end up eating the chimichurri by the spoonful.
The sweet from the scallops and the tanginess of the chimichurri makes this meal a slam dunk.
Rumrunner’s Island Chimichurri Sauce
2 TBSP Olive oil, extra virgin
2 TBSP Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 TBSP Key Lime juice, fresh squeezed
2 TBSP coconut milk, NOT canned but straight from the coconut itself
1 tsp Brown Sugar
3 (or more) tsp Garlic, fresh, minced
1½ TBSP Each: fresh cilantro, parsley and scallions, finely chopped
Measure and combine all ingredients in a small food processor. Give it a few good ‘pulses’ and set aside until serving.