Grilled Scallops with Baby Bok Choy and Soy-Ginger Beurre Blanc! Well needless to say the menu was more of a mouthful than my actual meal. Translation: I should have made more! I absolutely love scallops. Now I wouldn’t recognize a scallop in it’s natural habitat even if I stepped on one. Seriously, even if that is possible…I honestly have no idea what a scallops looks like outside of how the fishmonger puts them on display. I highly doubt that when you go diving into the deeps on a scallop hunt, you spot them by the $12/pound plastic stick stuck in the ground. However, what I do know is that I like them in my stomach. Enough said.
For my birthday earlier this year, my Dad bestowed upon me Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked by Karen Adler & Judith Fertig. I have known my Dad to turn to this book for several years (with great success I might add), but since the only color photograph in the book is on the cover, the book has rarely held my interest past a few page turns. No, I’m not that shallow, it’s just that my “self-prescribed ADD” like’s to look at succulent picture of food porn. It’s just how I am.
With the book in hand, I finally started to give it a serious look. Simply put, I was impressed. This is a grilling book after all which, while huddled in my parent’s kitchen, was a fact that flew right over my head. When eating with my folks I am usually too busy stuffing my face with appetizers of smoked sausage and cheese then to read fine print indicating things like “grill book” or better yet, “best before 1998” on some old salad dressing.
Alright, enough back story. I knew I wanted scallops for dinner so I ended up with this recipe. Why? Well, I love scallops, I love baby bok choy (and adult bok choy…adolescent bok choy? Not so much.), and I had no idea what beurre blanc was. Turns out, Beurre blanc is a hot butter sauce with a wine reduction. Or as I initially identified it, a buttload of butter with some other stuff in it. Regardless, it’s great, easy, and I suggest you try it sometime. In fact, try the whole thing. It is really quite simple and really quite astounding.
Grilled Scallops with Bok Choy & Soy-Ginger Beurre Blanc
3 small heads baby bok choy, bottoms intact cut lengthwise
salt & pepper
For the Beurre Blanc:2 cups dry white wine
2 tbls rice vinegar
2 tbls peeled & grated fresh ginger (this is why I always keep ginger root in the freezer!)
3 shallots, minced
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tbls soy sauce
1. For the beurre blanc, bring the wine, vinegar, ginger, and shallots to a boil in a medium-size, heavy saucepan over high heat. Reduce until only 2 tbls of liquid remain.
2. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, a piece or two at a time, until you have a smooth, emulsified sauce. Whisk in the soy sauce and keep warm until ready to serve.
3. Heat up your grill to direct high.
4. Brush the scallops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the scallops and bok choy on the grill. Note: If you have wide grates, you might want to use a grill screen. Grill the bok choy about 1 minute per side, just enough to wilt and slightly char the leaves. Transfer to a platter to keep warm. Grill the scallops 2-3 minutes per side, until firm & opaque and still juicy, not dry.
5. Place a half head of bok choy leaves on the plate, then place 4 scallops on the leaves. Top the scallops with some additional sauce.