The weather in Vancouver today was just lovely, lots of people were out strolling the parks and beaches. Well, when the sun is out, I guess it's time for some outdoor cooking using my grill. Earlier today, I had grilled some scallops and served it with a Mexican sauce made of cooked tomatillos.
Tomatillos is a close relative of tomatoes, but hardier. They are dense, highly seeded flesh, and are bursting with a distinctive tart, lemony flavor, and slightly acidic. They are great for salsa, sauces, and for salads too. Why not give the tomatillos a try? They're in season now, and at very reasonable prices!
Recipe adapted from The Dean & Deluca Cookbook
Pepper-Grilled Sea Scallops With Roasted Mexican Green Sauce
1/2 lb Fresh Tomatillos (about 6 medium), husked and washed
1 Large Poblano Chili
1/2 Cup Chopped White Onion
8 Sprigs of fresh Cilantro (including stems), chopped, plus fresh leaves for garnish
2 Serrano Chilies, seeded, and chopped
Sea Salt to taste
1 lb Sea Scallops (about 28 scallops)
2 1/2 Tbsp Ground Coriander Seed
1 1/2 Tbsp Very Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 450˚F.
Roast the tomatillos on a baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into quarters.
Meanwhile, place the poblano over an open flame and cook until charred on all sides. Place the poblano in a paper or plastic bag for 20 minutes, then peel off the charred skin. Remove the seeds, and chop the p0blano.
Place the tomatillo quarters, chopped poblano, onion, cilantro sprigs, and serranos in a blender, and blend to a coarse puree. Transfer the puree to a serving dish and thin to a medium-thick sauce consistency with about 3 Tbsp water, or more if needed. Season to taste with salt.
Cut the scallops into round slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Rolls slices in the ground coriander, then in the cracked black pepper. Grill over a hot fire, or sear in a cast-iron pan that has been heating over a hot fire for 10 minutes. Turn scallops once, and remove from heat when scallops are just cooked, about 1 minute per side.
Serve the scallops hot on pools of the green sauce. Top with a little more green sauce, and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.