Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Scallops with Saffron Aioli and Beer Boiled Shrimp

Last week, I e-mailed Sarah to let her know that I would be skipping this week's Food Network Chef's Cooking challenge because I wasn't going to have time to find and make one of Claire Robinson's recipes. But then, I was at my mom and dad's house on the weekend and we were watching The Food Network a lot. We started talking about what we could make for dinner on Sunday night when my dad would be away for the evening and so we decided to search through Claire's recipes to see if I could be part of the challenge after all.

This was a great lesson for me - an insanely perpetual planner - to see that sometimes the most amazing, tastiest things happen when I just stop planning for a few seconds.

Who knew that on the week I decided not to participate I would end up discovering and making not one, but two, recipes and that they would both be so tasty!

So, without further adieu, I will share both of these wonderful dishes from the sea.

Sea Scallops With Saffron Aioli - from Claire Robinson
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus 1 tsp zest
1/8 teaspoon (pinch) saffron threads
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 to 16 large sea scallops
Freshly cracked black pepper

Squeeze the orange and grate 1 tsp of zest.

Put the orange juice and saffron in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Cook for about 1 minute, until orange juice is infused with the saffron; stir in the zest and remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Whisk the orange mixture and the mayonnaise in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and set aside while you cook the scallops.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season well with salt and pepper.

When the oil is rippling, add the scallops and sear, turning once, until golden brown but still opaque in the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Remove the scallops from the skillet to serving dishes and drizzle with the aioli (or just dip the scallops in the aioli). Serve immediately

I'm not normally a huge fan of citrus flavours in main course dishes but this was delightful! The combination of the saffron and the orange juice and zest made for a sweet yet zingy aioli. Forget the scallops, the aioli itself was delicious. I may or may not have even dipped my broccoli in it once or twice. We thought it would make a really nice dipping sauce for homemade chicken fingers, as well!

Beer Boiled Shrimp
- from Claire Robinson
3 bottles beer
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed peppercorns
1 lemon, juiced, halves reserved
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shell left on, rinsed well

In a large pot, bring the beer, water, shrimp boil seasoning, salt, peppercorns and the juiced lemon halves to a boil over medium heat.

Allow mixture to boil covered for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, melt butter in a small saucepan and add the lemon juice.

Add the shrimp to the pot of boiling beer, cover, and turn off heat.

Check shrimp after 3 minutes for a pink color throughout.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and transfer to serving bowls.

Add 1/2 cup of the beer boiling liquid to the butter and simmer for 2 minutes, then transfer to small serving bowls.

Serve the warm shrimp with the butter dipping sauce on the side, and don't forget the empty bowls for the shrimp shells and some nice, crusty bread to sop up the extra sauce. Enjoy!

My mom and I served these two seafood dishes with steamed broccoli and couscous.

We made all of this to feed just the two of us. And we sure did a number on it! I'm pretty sure that the two of us consumed half of the Atlantic ocean. Here's proof...



  1. Sounds delish! I've been craving scallops...been watching too much Hell's Kitchen!

  2. Oh yum! So glad you could join us :) This looks amazing. Don't you love it when you find a great sauce? I often forget about the ones that I have found when the item they were to be served with was nothing amazing. I need a file for sauces. It sounds so fun to cook with mom as well. I miss that....

  3. delicious, my friend. so glad you found somethings you love! I've never cooked with saffron before, but have been hearing about it more and more lately.

    I am making the shortbreads this afternoon... I didn't get to them earlier :( Hopefully I'll have my post up in time to share this evening.

  4. Ayayayay...this looks AMAZING! The aioli looks amazing, and I LOVE shrimp. And beer boiled shrimp??! Yes please!!!

  5. Oh wow, what an awesome feast!! I just love boiled shrimp. And those scallops and Aioli sauce look amazing.
    So glad you didn't skip this week.

  6. Looks yummy! I'm going to have to try the scallops and Aioli sauce.

  7. Yum! I adore seafood. This recipe is definitely getting bookmarked!

  8. I am glad that you had a good experience this week. I didn't like her body of work. Too much seasoning.

  9. Ahhhhhhhh, the hubs is allergic to shrimp and I loooooooove it. That looks so amazing!

  10. It sounds like her recipes were very hit and miss. The scallops were one I have made before and I agree, that sauce is totally divine!

    The shrimp sounds really good too. Thanks for reviewing these!

  11. I might have to make the beer boiled shrimp sometime for my husband, he might like it.

  12. I LOVE scallops! I'm glad this was yummy =D

  13. ooo- so fancy!

    I have never had scallops in my life- so I have no idea what that tastes like. Maybe salty?