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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tried, Tested & True....Take Two Grilled Blackened Scallops

Back in April 2008 I heard about this event called Tried, Tested and True hosted by Equal Opportunity Kitchen. I had every intention of participating in this event, but never got my submission in on time due to procrastination. So when I noticed that Gizmar of Equal Opportunity Kitchen was hosting Tried, Tested and True….Take Two, I was not going to miss the opportunity to participate again. This time there are prizes!! And the judge is Christine Cushing of Food Tv. How cool is that...although a little intimidating.

The purpose of this particular event is also to bring awareness to organ donation. Gizmar has therefore asked anyone to share an experience or story they had relating to this topic. I cannot say I have had much experience with this issue myself, but my cousin, who has kidney disease and whom requires dialysis, struggles with this everyday.

She was at one time on a list for organ donation and found out how the long this waiting list can be and how difficult it is to find a perfect match, as there is more to consider than simply blood type. It was determined that she would not be a candidate to receive an organ at this time and perhaps never would be. Learning about the desperation of needing a new organ, the long waiting list and the difficulty in finding the right match, definitely brings light the important of the issue and the need for more donors and more awareness about the issue. I am constantly inspired by her courage and positive outlook on life despite her daily struggles.

The Tried, Tested and True….Take Two is also to be a health-promoting dish. I would have to say that most of my dishes fit that description and hence this was not a huge leap for me. Whether it meets the other criteria for taste, inventiveness, ease of preparation, and visual appeal will be left up to the judge.

Considering that it is summer time I knew that I would likely be grilling something for this event and that I would include fresh market vegetables. While walking around the market for veggies, I found some really fresh looking scallops from the fisherman’s market. Knowing these are low in saturated fats and low in calories (about 26calories per scallop) I decided to use them for this event. Not only are they low in cals, but they are not your everyday meal (at least not for me) and hence thought it was a nice food to serve company. One of my new favorite dishes to make for company is Moroccan Scallops with Eggplant Confit, which is a beautifully looking dish to serve company. However, as noted above I could not resist the urge to use the grill.

I coated the scallops in my favourite blackening spice and grilled a bunch of asparagus, zucchini and cherry tomatoes on the side. This recipe is not only healthy but very quick and easy to make. I sort of went a little camera crazy.


12 medium to large scallops (6 per person)
blackening spice (recipe below or follow the link)
1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and with the ends snapped off
1-2 T olive oil
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1 zucchini, sliced 1/2" thick

Blackening Spice

1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp oregano


Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container for up to 2 mths. Makes 1/2 cup. In a small bowl add about 1/4 cup of the blackening spice. Add the scallops and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

Divide the scallops between the skewers, threading them through the sides. I used metal skewers, but if using bamboo skewers make sure to soak them in water for 20 minutes prior to grilling.

In a roasting dish add the cleaned asparagus, cherry tomatoes and zucchini. Add 1-2 T of olive oil and add the ground black pepper. Toss to coat.


Place the vegetables in a non stick grill pan and place on one side of the grill, leaving room for the scallops on the opposite side. Grill the veggies for about 8-10 mins, tossing occassionally.

After the vegetables have been on the grill for 2-3 minutes add the skewered scallops. Grill the scallops on both sides for about 4 minutes per side. The scallops should look golden brown on both sides and opaque in the center.

If serving to company you can serve individual plates. Or place all the asparagus and vegetables on a large serving platter and lay the skewers on top of the asparagus and let company serve themselves.

Serves: 2

Other Recipes:

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Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Thanks for the insight into this worthy cause of organ donation as well as another delicious meal idea Parker:D

giz said...

Wow "T". First of all the scallops look incredible. They're so tender to eat and sweet - I just love them.

I'm entirely connected to your cousin's story and to find out that you don't qualify for the donor list is so deflating. I'm always so impressed by the strong spirit found in dialysis patients.

Adam said...

The scallops look awesome on the grill. You're totally right about them being healthy, a really good source of protein. I really like your spice mix, it sounds like it would match nicely with the asparagus.

I like the idea of the event too. More people should be aware about organ donation.

Katie said...

I LOVE SCALLOPS! What a great dish. Do you buy them frozen or fresh? (I don't know much about Canadian seafood.)

Fitness Foodie said...

To answer your question Katie, I buy the scallops fresh at the fisherman's market. They get shipped in from the East Coast of Canada. Not sure if they are frozen on shipping, but do not think so, just on ice I think. I have frozen them, but no longer than 2-3 weeks for fear they wouldn't be good.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

What a nice meal. I would be nice to find fresh scallops.

Unknown said...

It was a great dish. And the vent is an excellent way to bring awareness to organ donation as it is one of the many things we should but don't think of a great deal.

Peter M said...

Great entry Parker, I'm diggin your blackening rub.

Good luck in the contest, may the best scallop win!

Unknown said...

Those scallops look good!

Kaitlin said...

Those look great, Parker. My boyfriend adores scallops -- maybe I'll give these a try. Everything just tastes better when it's from the grill.

Anonymous said...

Looks great! I love grilled scallops.

Thistlemoon said...

Wow, Parker, I really learned something today reading your blog. I didn't know that much about organ donation. Thanks for shedding some light and also for showing us those beautiful scallops!

Anonymous said...

So many scallops on one skewer. I'd take my time enjoying that. And end up ignoring the vegetables :)

Vicarious Foodie said...

That looks so pretty! The colors and the plating of the dish are both really nice. Bet it tastes great, too!

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