BAY SCALLOPS AND GRITS

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Milk for soaking scallops

1 pound bay scallops

1/ 4 lb of bacon

4 scallion stalks, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped

1/ 4 cup White wine

3/ 4 cup grits

3 cups milk

1/ 2 cup heavy cream

1 1/ 2 tablespoon butter

Kosher salt

1/ 2 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped

1/ 2 teaspoon fresh basil chopped

1. Rinse bay scallops in water 4 hours before serving. Place in a bowl with milk and then refrigerate until needed. When ready to prepare dish. Drain scallops from milk bowl and set aside.

2. Cook bacon till crispy in medium frying pan. Keep the bacon grease in frying pan, but remove bacon to a paper toweled dish to dry and then crumble. Set aside.

3. Sauté chopped scallions in 2 teaspoons of the bacon grease. Set aside when thoroughly cooked and tender.

4. Meanwhile, make your grits. They take 15 to 20 minutes to cook totally.

5. Add grits, milk, butter and a dash of kosher salt to medium pot. Cook and stir continuously for about 10 to 12 minutes under a medium flame. Turn off the stove.Stir in heavy cream along with basil and parsley. Set aside till ready to serve. Just before serving, return pot to stove and cook for 8 minutes until slightly bubbling and hot.

6. Add scallops to frying pan and cook till done. Drain most of the liquid from frying pan out, and then add white wine, fresh parsley chopped along with bacon and scallions. Simmer together until everything is very hot.

7. Serve scallops immediately over creamy grits on a platter.

8. ENJOY – The combination of seafood and grits was a match made in heaven!

This recipe is from my first trip to Newport, Rhode Island over two years ago.

What would I do without my friends, MaryEllen and Mike? Probably, never visit Newport. MaryEllen and Mike invited my husband and me to their place in Newport RI for a weekend. We all arrived on a Friday evening and just settled in, when Mike took us for a spontaneous tour of Newport by car. It looked wonderful in the dark, but I was really curious to see everything in the daylight. That would have to wait for Saturday afternoon.

After a morning of catching up with our friends and rescuing them from a faulty garbage disposal we ventured off for a walk through the cobbled stoned streets of the seaside town of Newport. There were tours through Gilded Age mansions and various museums but our time was limited. So after browsing the shops and having a hearty late lunch on the docks, we settled on taking a sunset ride on a lovely old schooner through Newport harbor. It was mellow and quiet and just right for a late summer outing.

After coming ashore we walked around some more and continued exploring. While walking past an outside restaurant called, “The Pier”, we heard a loud band playing; I also noticed they had a more intimate area inside with just two musicians playing. I convinced everyone to stop in for a drink before continuing on. We sat down and our waitress, Erin, brought us some beverages.

While looking at their menu, Erin told us, that in 25 minutes; mostly everything on the appetizer menu was going to be half price. Well, that is all the guys had to hear and we knew we were here to stay. We decided to order 4 different appetizers and share them. I ordered the Gulf Shrimp and Grits (Lightly sautéed shrimp with bacon, melted leeks and mushrooms served over creamy grits). The seafood over grits intrigued me. I had to try this. All of us loved this appetizer. I’m personally not a huge fan of shrimp; I am more of a scallop gal. I asked Erin how the grits were made and she went back to the kitchen to ask Chef Kevin M. Gaudreau. I was told just grits, butter, milk and cream. No measurements, no recipe was given by the chef, which really intrigued me even more. I knew I would have to somehow recreate this dish my own way at home. So, Bay Scallops and Grits recipe was born and I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family did when I served it recently for a family dinner.

The rest of our evening at The Pier restaurant could not have gone better if we tried to plan it. Two tables away from us, a large group of men and women came in all dressed in black and looking very professional. I didn’t think anything of it; just assumed they were coming from work, until the music started up again. They all were dancing up a storm, each equally talented. All of us sitting in the vicinity were having our own version of Dancing with the Stars performed right in front of us. Erin was so excited she called her fellow waitress over and shouted, “Look, that’s my table dancing”, like a proud mom. After watching them all evening, I went over to the table to congratulate everyone on their dancing and found out that they all were professional dance instructors. A lady having dinner at another table was brave enough to ask one of the male instructors to dance. It was like a free lesson.

When it was time for us to leave, it felt like we were leaving our long time friends. Erin hugged us. How many times has a waitress hugged you goodbye? For me – practically never. We had such a good time; we came back the next morning for Sunday brunch. Erin was there and we were happy to see each other. The breakfast was just as good as the meal the previous night.
Our time in Newport was something we want to repeat in the near future. MaryEllen and Mike please invite us back to Newport and to The Pier, I promise to make my Bay Scallops and Grits for you!

The Pier Restaurant, 10 Howards Wharf, Newport, RI 02840 Phone: (401) 847-3645

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One thought on “BAY SCALLOPS AND GRITS

  1. Glad you had a great time in my hometown and at The Pier, which is now managed by 2 old friends of mine. There are many amazing places to eat down on the waterfront, but I’m happy to hear that my friends are having success with their new endeavor.

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