The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Opinion

February 23, 2013

Sensational Salad with a Seafood-Citrus Twist

PALESTINE — I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day. The best part for me was cooking a special menu inspired by the color red. Everyone had a great time and the food was as beautiful as the red roses on each table.

One of the favorites of the night was a seared scallop appetizer with a mango salsa that I served in a romaine leaf. It could be served on its own, add more lettuce to make it a salad, or double the ingredients, add some rice and you have a meal.

The meaty and oceanic flavor of the sea scallops goes so well with the sweet mango, creamy avocado and the acid in the oranges. I used blood oranges to accentuate the red color, but tangerines or Texas pink grapefruit would work too.

I created this recipe when I used to travel to Fiji. It was a popular vacation spot for New Zealanders and I used to holiday there with cousins who moved there. That seems so long ago. All the kids have grown up and, funny thing, one cousin and I have somehow found ourway to Texas. He works for the San Antonio Spurs and also used to play for them.  Maybe someday we will both make it back to Fiji to relive the old days and take advantage of all the great fresh seafood.

What an inspiration good, fresh fish can be. The secret to cooking the scallops is to get the pan very, very hot and make sure your scallops are very, very dry. That will give you that nice, crisp exterior and keep them from sticking to the pan. Don’t force them to turn. When they are ready they will release from the pan and be ready to flip. If you like you can substitute some fresh Gulf shrimp.

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