Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Summer Gaspacho, Scallops with Warm Vinagrette, Chocolate Sorbet
What can we do about this heat!!!! What we have been most waiting for in the grim of winter is finally here upon us and all we can think about is how to avoid the heat and stay cool and well-fanned as soon as the thermometer rises above 80 degrees.
We are truly blessed to be able to enjoy the benefits of this amazing weather and, please believe me when I say that, coming from a country where the weather is gloomy 300 days a year, we wouldn’t trade it for anything. It is all about adapting your lifestyle to the temperature and enjoying a well-adapted style of cooking that enhances freshness and a leisurely atmosphere of tropical farniente.
Quick and flavorful, these dishes allow you to entertain your guests and make this trip in the kitchen superfast and efficient. Prepare all ingredients ahead of time so you can relax and have everything done in a couple of minutes.
The first recipe is a wonderful gazpacho, made in the blender ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to come to the table. Serve it in glasses or in bowls, add the cucumber bits and swirl in the pesto sauce for a stunning visual effect. It is flavorful, cooling and delicious. It also allows you to get five servings of vegetables in one plate at once.
When you look for a refreshing main dish, scallops are a great choice because they are so quick to cook but so light to digest. This recipe mixes sweet and spicy with a warm vinaigrette and a combination of spinach and scallops that does not weigh you down and burst with the flavors of the sea.
My all-time favorite dessert is an incredible chocolate sorbet that is made so quickly and effortlessly that it will become your instant favorite as well. If you do not own an ice-cream machine, do not worry as this will set in a regular pan just as well. Just scrape the sorbet once or twice during the freezing process to avoid too much crystallization. This can be served with a few raspberries on the side which will intensify the flavors of chocolate. Just make sure you purchase the best available cocoa powder you can find.
Altogether, this is a beautiful meal that will enchant your guests and garner you incredible compliments in the process. Don’t tell them it was so easy…
Click on “Continue Reading” for the Recipes
8 tomatoes, cored, seeded, and peeled
1 green jalapeno, roughly chopped
2 English cucumbers (or 4 Persian cucumbers), peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup almonds, finely ground (or almond meal)
2 tsp sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until desired consistency is reached. Add more almond meal to thicken soup if necessary. If all the ingredients do not fit in the blender, make in several batches.
Refrigerate until thoroughly cold.
Peel and seed the additional cucumber and cut into very fine dice. Place the soup into the bowls and sprinkle the top with cucumbers, then with a few drops of the pistou.
makes 6 oz
1 bunch fresh herbs (parsley, basil, and chives is best combination)
1 oz. pinenuts
4 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
dash of lemon juice to keep vibrant color
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in food processor and puree until you reach a fine consistency.
Place in a plastic bottle in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using and shake well. Can be used on meat, pasta or rice or even on salad for a touch of color and herb flavor.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Warm Vinaigrette
2 cups baby spinach
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp shallots
4 Tbsp vegetable broth
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1/3 cup apple juice
12 whole scallops
3 Tbsp clarified butter
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp non-clarified butter
1 pinch fleur de sel (for garnish)
Make the clarified butter ahead of time. Heat one stick of butter into a saucepan until melted. Remove the milk solids that rise to the surface until the butter is clear and looks free of any fat solids.
Wash and dry the baby spinach. Remove the stems. Finely dice the shallots and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan and add the shallots. Let the shallots caramelize slightly but do not let them burn. Turn the heat up on medium-high and deglaze the pan with the vegetable broth. Let reduce slightly. Add the sherry vinegar and apple juice and reduce by about half. Once the mixture has reduced, remove from the heat and set aside. Keep in mind it will continue to thicken as it cools. Set aside.
To cook the scallops, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Remove the tough muscle along the side of the scallops, if present. Heat a fry pan (not non-stick) to medium-high heat and add the clarified butter. While the butter is heating, season the scallops with salt and white pepper.
Once the butter is hot and just begins to smoke, place the scallops into the pan and turn the heat up to high. The scallops are ready to flip when they start to cook up the sides and turn opaque. Once ready, the bottom should be a nice golden brown. Turn the heat down to medium and flip them over. The scallops are cooked when you can see that about 1/4 of an inch on the top and bottom has turned opaque.
Next, butter-baste the scallops. Add the non-clarified butter to the pan. Once it melts, spoon a generous amount over each scallop. Immediately turn off the heat and remove the scallops from the pan. Set aside while you quickly reheat the vinaigrette.
Bring the vinaigrette to a gentle boil then set aside to cool for a minute or two. Next, add some of the dressing to the spinach and toss. Reserve some of the vinaigrette, so you can drizzle a bit over the scallops once they are plated.
Next, stack 3 or 4 spinach leaves onto each plate. Then top each stack of spinach with one of the scallops. Drizzle the scallops with some of the remaining vinaigrette. Top with a pinch of Fleur de Sel and serve.
Note: Make sure you have everything ready before you start cooking the scallops, so you don’t overcook them
Makes about 1 quart
2 1/4 cups water (separated)
1/4 cup agave syrup
3/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large saucepan, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the water with the agave syrup, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk for 45 seconds.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s melted, then stir in the vanilla extract and the remaining 3/4 cup (180 ml) water.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for 15 seconds.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the mixture has become too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.