There is no need to be afraid to grill scallops. Nothing is going to explode, disintegrate or stick. The only thing required is patience and lots of it. And when I say “easily release” I mean it. You won’t have to pry them off or jack hammer them off or blast them with a water hose or use a back hoe. The scallops will simply slide right off or if you are using tongs you will be able to lift them right up.
Granted this could take about 15 minutes on a medium high grill. I am using a Char-Broil® TRU-Infrared™ Performance Series grill for this so the heat is even and consistent. You don’t want to use high for this because you want an even crust to form without charring the scallops and medium high is just the ticket. Let’s not forget that a scallop is a pretty dense little muscle. Once you see they have released from the grill the scallop is pretty much cooked all the way through. If you want to flip it for a minute or two just for fun, go right ahead.
I also grilled up some baby octopus and decided to serve my dynamic little appetizer with some squid ink risotto and a little Asian slaw made up of green apples, carrots, radishes and green onions. Tasty, you ask? The flavors were so bold right out of the gate that that if this was a play it would be a tough act to follow. The Oscar for Best Dish goes to – Grilled Scallops and Baby Octopus!
A healthy salad of grilled scallops and octopus over a bed of Arborio rice with Asian slaw.
- 6 baby octopus
- 6 large scallops
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 large carrot
- 3 large radishes
- 1 green apple
- 1 green onion
- 1 lime
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 packet of squid ink (available on the internet)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Preheat your grill to about 400°F or a nice even medium high, making sure the grill is well seasoned and well oiled.
- Bring to a boil 3 cups of salted water and simmer the baby octopus for 15 minutes.
- Pat dry your scallops.
- Salt and pepper your scallops and place them on the hot grill and don't touch them for the next 10 minutes. Once they release from the grill, turn them over and let them cook for three or four minutes depending upon the thickness of the scallop. The scallop will change in color from translucent to opaque.
- Grill the boiled octopus for a minute or two on each side to impart a delicious grilled flavor.
- For your Asian slaw, thinly slice your carrot, radishes, apple and green onion. Put the apple into a bath of cold water with a little squeeze of lime so it does not oxidize. Set these ingredients aside and make your risotto.
- To make the risotto you need to allow at least 20 minutes to stir and stir and stir. Making risotto begins with the rice in a dry sauce pan. You brown it ever so slightly, then you slowly start adding the broth while stirring. When the broth is absorbed, you add more stirring all the while. It is this stirring that releases the starch and makes the risotto naturally creamy. Continue adding broth and stirring until it's absorbed and the rice is a nice al dente (slightly chewy). This could take 20 minutes or so and there is no way around it if you want perfect risotto. In the last few minutes add your packet of squid ink and the butter, turning the entire creamy goodness into a dark gray/black steamy, creamy delight.
- When you are ready to plate, gently toss your slaw in the sesame oil, a ½ teaspoon of lime juice (the juice from one wedge of lime) and the honey at the last minute so it stays crisp.
- Put a spoonful of your rich risotto on a plate, slice the baby octopus in half and place it in the middle of the risotto, then place a grilled scallop on top of this with a little of your Asian slaw. Drizzle the whole dish with a little of the leftover salad dressing and serve.
You can easily substitute squid tentacles for the baby octopus and squid ink is easily found on the internet, if you can't find Arborio rice you can use short grain rice, but watch it closely as it will cook faster.