Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Try This At Home...Kewpie Cooks...

How It's Supposed to Look...

Ingredients...and the finished sauce...

Try This At Home...
Trying to duplicate a recipe from an article about MSG in the NY Times food section, I prepared a fairly decent simulacrum of their finished product. Well, maybe it doesn't look as good, but the taste was great. Kewpie Japanese Mayonnaise is available at most Asian groceries. Also, I used canned straw mushrooms instead of the enoki mushrooms, and they retained a lot of their moisture in the high heat. I couldn't get the top as crusty as I wanted, but after just one extra minute under the broiler, I knew the scallops were not going to be any good, so I took them out of the oven, and they still retained a lot of moisture and flavor. A very easy dish to make, and if you can't find Kewpie Mayonnaise, you could probably substitute whatever you have on hand. Of course then you don't get the MSG flavor-enhancing, but it seemed to be a very small part of the overall flavor, anyway.

My dish, a half-moon, cooked in a cast-iron skillet...

On the plate, it looks pretty good!

(Remember that scallops tend to retain a lot of moisture, so if you buy them frozen, or semi-frozen, they will shrink substantially-I used about ¾ of a pound. Be careful not to overcook-they'll get very rubbery. And be generous with the mayo-topping.)

Baked Scallops With Creamy Spicy Sauce Published: March 5, 2008 NYTimes
Adapted from Ginza, Boston
Time: 25 minutes
8 large sea scallops
5 ounces enoki mushrooms
For the creamy spicy sauce:
6 tablespoons Kewpie brand Japanese mayonnaise (available in Asian markets
and some supermarkets) or other mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sriracha (Asian chili sauce) or sambal.
1. For scallops: Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cut each scallop horizontally into 4 equal slices. Cut off roots of mushrooms and divide mushrooms into four equal portions, arranging them on a pie plate or other shallow baking dish. Spread scallops evenly over them, overlapping them if necessary. Bake until about half-cooked, 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare sauce.
2. For creamy spicy sauce: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lime juice, sugar and sriracha or sambal. Mix well.
3. To finish and serve: Remove scallops from oven and spread evenly with sauce. Return scallops to oven and bake until surface is lightly browned in places, about 6 more minutes. Place equal portions of mushrooms and scallops on each of four plates; serve hot.
Yield: 4 first-course servings.

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