Sweet Butter and Dark Rum Glazed Sea Scallops
When I was young I used to think that Dianna Rigg ( think back to the TV series The Avengers) was as sexy as it comes. I was probably right, but since then my tastes have, shall we say, broadened. I realize “sexy” has some greater, more expansive applications. One of those is when it’s applied to food. Narrowing again, when that is applied to a particular seafood you discover there’s something more than wonderfully sexy about scallops. And it’s not just me that thinks this way. I’m sure Dianna will agree.
Nearly every culture reveres this sensual seafood delight as sexual. Consider the following: Rangda, Balinese Goddess of sexuality, fertility, lust, and magic ( who most likely looks exactly like Dianna) keeps her charms and potions in a scallop shell. Offerings to her are always presented in scallop shells. Botticelli painted his famous Venus Rising from the Sea with the Goddess carried on a scallop shell. High on most lists of aphrodisiacs, named after Aphrodite, Roman Goddess of sexuality, are (wait for it…) scallops. No wonder this recipe came directly from a wonderfully erotic Mermaid or as they are called in Paradise, Kapua. Other than some obvious things, what else would a mermaid offer than sexy foods from Mother Oceans’ South Pacific pantry?
As sweet and rich as life in Paradise should be, the buttery sauce in this recipe really brings out the rich character of the scallops and plays wonderfully off of the rum and honey. My favorite part is the texture, there’s almost a crust that the caramelizing gives them. The trick with this meal is to have everything prepared before you start to cook the scallops. That part goes quickly and you’ll need to serve them straight away.
Diana, wherever you are…( insert huge sigh here )
Scallops and Glaze
- 2 large scallops (not the puny little bay scallops. These are incredibly rich so one each will usually do the trick )
- 2 tablespoons sweet unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 2 teaspoons honey. If you can get it Mexican honey it is the best but any wild honey will do.
1/4 teaspoon pink sea salt
- Grated ginger and freshly ground pepper to taste. Personally I lean more towards the ginger because it carries a wider, more Polynesian sensation.
- 1 Mango – peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp jalapeño pepper chopped fine.
- 1/3 cup red onion – diced.
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro – chopped.
- 1 Tbsp lime juice.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup rice
- 2 1/2 cups water or chicken broth
It doesn’t get a whole bunch easier than this one, plus you can make this way in advance. Chop and combine all the salsa ingredients. See? Easy peasy. Get it done early so the flavors have time to blend and blossom. Then refrigerate the salsa for about 5 minutes before serving. I told you it was easy. Let the sense of accomplishment build as you sip some rum.
You can use either water or broth for this. Chicken broth adds a lightly salty flavor that I prefer. Bring rice and water (or broth) to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40 to 50 minutes. This would be another good time to try some of the rum again. It is strictly against the law (with some very severe penalties) in several countries to remove the lid when rice is simmering. The steam build up is crucial. After the time has passed check the rice but maybe be sure no one sees you. When the rice is ready let it stand topless for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. This basic recipe will make 3 cups of cooked rice and you’ll feel so good about all you’ ve done so far that you should celebrate with some rum.
After the sips and salsa and making the rice you should start the sauce because it will take time. Reserve one tablespoon of the butter and set aside. The butter won’t really mind since it enjoys some time alone. Just remember where you put it. Begin with a small saucepan because a larger pan would allow the mixture to spread out too thin and run the risk of buring. Start by combining the remaining butter, honey, rum, salt, and ginger then cooking over medium-high heat until the ingredients are blended. Turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer until reduced by about half ( about 20 minutes ). See sipping instructions above.
Once the sauce and sips, salsa and sips, and the rice are ready you can turn to the star of this show. Just like fleeting memories of Dianna Rigg, preparing the scallops goes quickly so be ready to serve these as soon as you can after cooking. Remember that tablespoon of butter you reserved earlier? Good, melt it in a skillet over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter melts add the scallops and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side turning only once until they are seared. Using your freakishly amazing estimating skills carefully pour all but about 1/3 cup of the sauce over the scallops. Spoon the sauce over the scallops a few times as they cook. Pour the remaining sauce into a small bowl to use as a garnish and sauce for the rice.
Wether you think of this as a Mermaid meal, a Kapua kitchen concotion, or simply another amazing From paradise With Love And Rum dish, this will be a hit. You will succumb to its siren song again and again. Don’t even try to resist.
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