Sizzling summer temperatures is no time to cook... unless we're talking scallops

OK, it's been a week since the last post, a week of hot sizzling weather in the Pacific Northwest. This is no time to cook with the highs reaching 98 (38c) during the day. The last thing one wants to do is crank up the oven or set the burners on high; however, exceptions and sacrifices can be made when the urge for fresh sea scallops set in. That's exactly what happened today. It was just the small burner for just a few minutes it must be said and in the end, any small amount of discomfort was well worth it. Scallops in a seafood rub, pan fried, and served over a bed of baby greens was pure delight.

Start with a seafood rub. You can find prepared seafood rub in your local store or you can make it from scratch. Making it from scratch will save you money and you'll have total control over the sodium level being used. A little of this and a little of that and you'll be amazed as to how it enhances flavors. For this home made rub, the following ingredients were used:

1 tablespoon of fine bread crumbs
1 teaspoon of flour
1/4 teaspoon of fine white pepper
a couple of pinches of lemon pepper (if available)
a couple of pinches of salt
a couple of pinches of garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon of Wasabi powder
a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes

In a jar or container with a lid, add all the ingredients and shake well so that everything gets well blended. Then prepare your scallops. You will need 10 large sea scallops for 2 servings. Rinse scallops well and then slice them in halves. Set them in a bowl and squeeze the juice from the lemon over them. Allow to sit for a few minutes and then drain the excess lemon juice out.

Add the scallops to the container with the rub, tightly seal and shake well so that all the scallops will be well coated with the rub. Now heat a tablespoon of olive oil and tablespoon of butter in a saute pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add the scallops and saute for about a minute on each side until lightly browned. Don't over cook these jewels or you will get nothing but chewy texture and you don't want that. When ready, remove them from the pan and set them on a towel and allow to cool a bit.

While scallops are cooling, prepare your salad dressing. You will need:

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
a couple tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
1 clove of garlic well minced

Add all the ingredients to a salad bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the baby green lettuce of your choice, 1/2 tomato diced, and toss well so that all is well coated. Finally, add the scallops and toss one final time lightly. Serve on a chilled plate and enjoy.

The three wives of Caesar

The US has the Bloody Mary and Canada has the Bloody Caesar. Well, step aside because Portland has The Three Wives of Caesar in this combination of the Mary and Caesar cocktails. It was by pure happenstance that 3 cocktails were made on this day (3 guests for dinner) and the fact that Caesar had three wives. It wasn't until several days later that I Googled it that I found out that he did have three wives.

The Bloody Mary and Bloody Caesar are two very popular cocktails in North America. The Mary is thicker and more tomato tasting, while the Caesar has a lighter, more fluid, clam flavor. Why not combine the two and come up with a happy middle solution? Well, that's what I did. Turns out this drink worked for my guests and will work for you as well. Here's what you'll need per drink:

2 oz. vodka
3 oz. clam juice
4 oz. tomato juice
1 teaspoon of Pernod
1 tablespoon of Limoncello
1 teaspoon of creamy horse radish
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
a few drops of Tabasco sauce
Cracked black pepper and salt to taste

In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients and just a few ice cubes. You don't want to dilute the drink but the ice cubes will chill the drink before you pour it in the glass. Shake well for a few seconds.

Fill a tall glass 3/4 with ice cubes and pour the liquid to the top. Add your favorite garnish which may include olives, pickled garlic, lemon, cherry tomatoes, or peppers. Enjoy!!