Pan Seared Scallops and Squash

I first got the idea to make this dish when I was with my dad at a farmer’s market in Chicago.  I found these beautiful sunburst squash and I just had to use them.  I told dad that I would make scallops and squash for our dinner.  Dad told me that he doesn’t like scallops, but he was excited about the squash because it was so fresh and reminded him of an Indian squash called Tinda.  Tinda is also called “Indian Baby Pumpkin.”  I told him that I would season the scallops with Indian spices and cook them just right so that he would like them.

Dad was willing to try it, so here is the recipe.  He loved it, by the way, and now has become a scallops fan.

INGREDIENTS:

Scallops and Squash Ingredients

  • a dozen large scallops
  • 6 small squash (you can used any small squash that is just a bit bigger than the scallops in diameter.)  Here I have used patty pan squash.
  • 3 Tbsp Indian Spice Mix.  The Ingredients for the spice mix are shown in the small bowls.  For full list of ingredients and how to make the spice mix click on the link provided.
  • Grape seed oil to drizzle over the scallops and squash.
  • 2 pats of butter for cooking the scallops.
  • Freshly ground pink Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste.  My dad likes a lot of black pepper.

PREP:

Scallops and Squash Prep

  • Pat dry the scallops.  If there is a little piece of adductor muscle attachment on the scallop remove it.  It is called the foot of the scallop.  It peels off easily.  It is the tough tendon that attaches the scallop to its shell.  Please remove it because it is not edible.
  • Sprinkle on 1 Tbsp of Indian Spice Mix.  Drizzle on enough grape seed oil to coat.  Toss gently until well coated.  Do not add salt until right before cooking.  Place in the fridge, uncovered, while you prep the squash.
  • Cut the ends off of each squash.  Then cut in half.  You should have pieces of squash that are one inch thick.  Again sprinkle on the Indian Spice Mix.  Also add salt and pepper and coat with grape seed oil.  Let sit for 30 minutes before cooking.

COOK:

Scallops and Squash Cook

  • Start the squash first.  Coat a large skillet with a Tbsp of grape seed oil.  Place on medium-high heat.  When oil is hot place the squash slices in a single layer.  Cook until golden brown on first side and flip.  While the second side is cooking, start the scallops.  The second side should cook for 3 minutes.  At the end of 3 minutes turn off the heat.
  • Place two pats of butter in a non-stick skillet.  Place on medium-high heat.  While the butter comes up to a foam, season the scallops with salt and pepper.  When you see the butter foaming, placed the scallops in the skillet.  It will take two to three minutes to develop a dark crust.  Once the crust has formed, flip the scallops over and take them off the heat.  Wait 2 minutes for the carry over heat to cook the scallops through.

PLATING:

Scallops and Squash Plated

Above is a photo of my plating when I enjoyed this dish with my dad.  He likes red wine, so we served this with a Shiraz.  Shiraz is the original wine grape from the Middle East.  It goes very well with any spicy food.  In my opinion, it goes very well with Indian food.

When I recreated this dish at home, I came up with fancier plating.

Scallops and Squash Feature

I served it as a first course for a dinner party.  Each piece of squash is topped with a scallop and then garnished with a dot of home made mint chutney and a mint leaf.  I will post the recipe for the mint chutney in the future.

Hope you like it.  My dad loved it 😊💕

Please write your thoughts in the comments section.  I always appreciate your support and feedback. 😃

 

MIKADO Sushi and Japanese Tapas (Best Happy Hour in Austin, TX)

MIKADO is my favorite place for both sushi and happy hour in Austin, Texas.  Their happy hour menu has a large variety of sushi and unique Japanese tapas along with great cocktails, sake, wine and beer.  Their regular menu is also great.  Happy hour is Mon-Fri from 3-6 and all day Sunday.  They also have reverse happy hour on Fri & Sat from 9 pm to 10:15 pm.  The happy hour is fun and a real bargain.

My husband and I ate there for the past two Sundays.  I am going to take you through the dishes we devoured.  My husband loves Saba (marinated mackerel) so much that he judges a sushi restaurant by the quality of their Saba.  My hubby thinks that this is the best Saba he has ever had.  He ordered 12 pieces of Saba.  He is a big eater.

I have three favorites, Ono (also called escolar or white tuna), red snapper, and yellowtail.  So this is what I ordered to test the quality of the sushi.  All three were fresh and melt in your mouth delicious.  Below is the photo if our test dishes.

Mikado Feature

Six pieces of  Saba are in the front row.  Behind the Saba, the red snapper is on the left and the yellowtail is on the right.  In the very back are two pieces of Ono.  They were served with smooth hot sake.

Now that MIKADO passed our test with flying colors, we moved on to the rest of the meal.  The next course we ordered was from their main menu.  It is the most fantastic Miso Mushroom Soup.  The variety of mushrooms will change with the seasons.  The broth has a deep umami flavor.  This is Japan’s answer to comforting and nourishing chicken soup.

Mikado Mushroom Miso Soup

My hubby and I each had our own bowl.  We followed this with Spicy Garlic Edamame.

I had a glass of lychee sake and my hubby has a beer.

These edamame are very flavorful because of the chili and the garlic.  I like them better than plain boiled edamame.

Next we ordered three fried tapas accompanied by a refreshing and yummy lychee martini. The lychee martini is posted on my Instagram feed.

I will describe these tapas one at a time.  The first one was the most unique and delicious tofu I have ever come across.  YES I said TOFU.  Even my meatatarian husband loved it.

 

Mikado Agedashi Tofu

The dish is called Agedashi Tofu.  It is cubes of tofu, lightly coated with rice flour and then flash fried.  They are served with bonito flakes and a deeply flavorful dashi broth for dipping.  The tofu just melts in you mouth.  It is not at all greasy.

The second fried item was Fried Oysters.

Mikado Fried Oysters

These oysters have a crispy panko coating and are juicy inside.  Perfectly cooked and served with a savory soy based sauce.

The third fried item was Peppered Calamari.  It was absolutely delicious.

Mikado Peppered Calamari

Slightly peppery, not greasy at all and served with a tart but spicy sauce.

Next my hubby ordered Uni with Quail Egg as a palate cleanser.  I am not a big uni fan, so I ordered Peppered Tuna Tataki.  Both were fresh and yum.  They are shown below.

The last thing we ordered was the Hamachi Chili.

Mikado Hamachi Chili

The Hamachi was melt in your mouth fresh.  It was topped with a slightly spicy Ponzu sauce, a thin slice of Thai chili and a single pearl of red caviar.  So pretty.  I love pretty food that also tastes divine.

They also have a large selection of sushi rolls.  My hubby ordered two rolls, but he ate them before I had a chance to take photos.  I guess he got impatient with me photographing everything or he was really hungry.  He let me know that both rolls were great.  Obviously he loved them because they were gone before I had any.  Oh well.  Next time I will order a roll for myself.

If you are in Austin, Texas please go and dine at Mikado.  You won’t be disappointed.