Archives for category: Scallops

IMG_3617

Yoğurt Çorbası, or yogurt soup, has become one of my new favorite foods. Eaten hot or cold, the soup combines the creaminess of yogurt with chewy cooked wheat and dried mint. I’m guessing there are numerous variations of this recipe in Turkey–perhaps depending on region, or just a family’s particular preference–but whatever you do, you must constantly stir the yogurt as it comes to a boil (to prevent curdling) and, I’m told emphatically, do so in one direction only! I tried doing this task one-handed, while sipping a cold-brewed decaf coffee with the other and was chided by my Turkish cooking instructor: “focus!”

IMG_3592

Turkish Yogurt Soup with Mint

1 c uncooked hulled wheat
5 c cold water, divided in 3 c + 2 c
1 quart plain yogurt (not Greek-style)
1 egg
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced finely
2 tbsp dried mint
salt, to taste

1. Cook the wheat: combine the wheat and 3 cups of cold water in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the wheat is cooked. Let sit covered for an additional 10 minutes then transfer to a baking sheet to cool completely.

2. Place the yogurt in a large bowl; crack the egg into the yogurt and whisk to combine. Add the 2 cups of water and whisk together. Place the cooled wheat in a medium to large saucepan and add the yogurt-egg mixture and 2 c cold water. You’ll be gradually bringing the mixture to a boil and have to stir the mixture continuously in one direction until it boils. It’s very important not to stop stirring and to stir only in one direction so the mixture doesn’t curdle. Ideally you’d bring the mixture to a slow boil and this could take thirty minutes of stirring. Recently I started doing this a little sped up, on slightly higher heat, and it takes about twelve minutes of continuous stirring. Once the mixture is boiled turn the heat to a low simmer and cover.

3. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a small to medium saute pan on a medium flame. Add the onion and saute until it starts to turn golden, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the mint and cook for one minute then take off the heat. Stir this into the yogurt mixture, take the yogurt off heat. Season with salt to taste and you’re ready to eat. The soup can be served hot or cold.

IMG_3600

IMG_3606

IMG_3614

Advertisements

Let’s face it, you come to the North Fork to eat. Ok, and kayak, swim, and stroll through Greenport. And, well, grill, eat fried clams, fish, and go to farm stands. Well that’s why I come to the North Fork. For the rest of the week I’m in Orient Point at the very end of the Fork, about 2 1/2 hours due east from Brooklyn. Past Riverhead and Cutchogue, beyond Southold and Greenport, and just before the lighthouse.

Here’s a snapshot of today’s eats. There were small and sweet Peconic Bay scallops; marinated hanger steak; ginger and lime cocktails; tomatoes marinated in pesto; Sri Lankan sambal; succotash with bacon; and greens with herbs in a lemon-mustard dressing.

I had a 4 1/2 year-old sous chef to help with the steak marinade. It went something like this: set aside 2 lbs of skirt or hanger steak. In a large bowl combine 1/2 c soy sauce, juice from 1 lime, 1 shallot finely chopped, 1/2 c thinly sliced scallions, and a couple of pinches of Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper. My sous chef loved squeezing the lime, determining “what’s a pinch of salt?” and dredging the steaks through the marinade. Let the steaks marinate for 10-20 minutes before grilling, then grill to medium rare. As someone said between bites, this steak tasted like chocolate. It was dark and smoky and caramelized and delicious.

My friend Sumathi made the cocktails. Mine was 1 tbsp simple syrup with fresh chopped ginger, 1 tbsp lime juice, club soda and a splash of orange juice, garnished with chopped cucumbers and basil. The grown-ups had Brooklyn Gin in theirs.

To make the scallops, wash and dry 1 lb (or 2 or 3 lbs, frankly, you can eat these things like candy corn) bay scallops. Rub a little bit of olive oil on the scallops and season with salt and black pepper. Sauté in a dry hot skillet for about 2 mins. on each side. Serve with squeezed lemon juice.

If the weather cooperates, tomorrow morning will be for tennis, the afternoon for swimming, and the evening—I hope—for oysters, more bay scallops, and taking my friends’ money (aka poker).

Pesto is all about summer. It tastes like the sun setting at 8:30 pm, like fireflies blinking in the distance, like saltwater and sand and waves. When the weather is hot, I can’t get enough.

I like experimenting with pesto. Not only can you make the traditional basil-olive oil-Parmesan-pine nuts-garlic variety, but you can substitute any number of ingredients in that list with others. For instance, arugula instead of basil, or walnuts instead of pine nuts. Yesterday it was about garlic scapes.

Garlic scapes are the curling flower stalks that grow from the bulb of garlic plants. If you’ve been to a farmers’ market recently you have likely seen these green tentacles piled high on tables. The season is very short—not to sound like Chicken Little but it will be ending soon—so scoop them up now.

They have a similar garlicky-onion taste as scallions or ramps and can be used in much the same way. I harvested heaps of basil from my little herb garden Saturday so I knew a pesto was in order. I had a big bag of scapes in my fridge that travelled with me from Kate’s garden in Vermont earlier in the week. The math was simple: scapes + basil = a delicious pesto for dinner.

I picked up a pound of scallops (I love scallops drizzled with pesto), whole wheat linguine, and greens for a salad. Risking pesto overkill, I decided I’d serve the pesto over both the scallops and linguine. Like I said, this time of year, I can’t get enough.

Garlic Scape Pesto

5 c basil
a chunk of Parmesan (roughly 1/4 pound)
3/4 c walnuts*
5-6 stalks of garlic scapes, bottom few inches trimmed off and discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 – 3/4 c good olive oil
salt

Makes 2 c of pesto

*You can use pine nuts in addition or instead but the price of pine nuts has soared recently and at $34 a pound I pass over pignoli for the cheaper but still flavorful walnut.

In a food processor, add the basil, Parmesan (cut into chunks), walnuts, and scapes. Start pulsing and gradually pour in the olive oil through the feeder tube. Use more or less olive oil according to your preference, same with salt. After a minute or two of pulsing you’ll have a fragrant, delicious spread for breads, pasta, vegetables, or fish. (If you have an ice cream maker: I dare you.) Blend more for smoother pesto, less for chunkier. I think it would also be nice to add the zest of 1 lemon here, but I didn’t do that this time around.

As for the scallops, I washed about 1 pound and patted them dry as much as possible, adding salt and pepper to each side, then sautéed them in a cast iron skillet in 1-2 tbsp butter for 2-3 minutes on each side.

%d bloggers like this: