Always love seafood in the summertime! Especially when it’s seafood I caught on my own line. I went out with KP and my dad to some shallow bayou-y gulfish areas south of New Orleans and had the most thrilling catch of my life—reeled in an enormous redfish bull from a precarious teeter totter of a vessel—our Old Town featherweight, fondly known as the banana boat. So wonderful to share this memory with my favorite and most beloved of witnesses! Dad, Happy early Father’s Day. KP– thanks for being my anchor (emotionally) while that fish pulled our canoe around for fifteen minutes and for encouraging me not to let go or let up. Both in the boat and out of the boat, you are steady and assured.
That night I cooked up the catch into this Red Fish Court Bouillion recipe I got from an old Creole cookbook. It was delicious!
Redfish Court Bouillion
If scallops were half as fun to catch, I would have gone out hunting for some of those too, but instead, I fished these out of the ice at Costco.
White Quinoa Grits with Scallops in Spice Oil
Adapted from Food and Wine and Bon Appetit
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 cup white quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 black peppercorns plus freshly ground for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
8 large or 12 medium sea scallops, side muscle removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups mixed cilantro and flat-leaf tparsley with tender stems
Olive oil (for drizzling)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and porridge-like, about 25 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt and pepper; keep warm.
Grind first 4 ingredients and 1/2 tsp. salt to a fine powder in spice mill. Transfer to a small saucepan over medium-low heat; add oil. Cook until oil begins to simmer, 2–3 minutes. Scrape into a small bowl; stir in garlic and lemon zest. Let cool for 5 minutes, then stir in 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and more juice, if desired.
Heat grapeseed oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until oil begins to smoke. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned, about 3 minutes. Turn; cook until just barely opaque in center, about 30 seconds longer.
Meanwhile, place herbs in a medium bowl and drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over; season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Divide scallops between 2 plates; spoon 1 Tbsp. spice oil over each plate (reserve remaining oil for another use). Garnish with salad.
Get some seafood for summertime!