Monday, September 04, 2006
conchas ahumadas de tia
This was the scenario for most of yesterday afternoon, opening the lid to have this fine view. I'm convinced that long-time smokin' masters actually develop "smoke eyes," and have the ability to discern what the food looks like through smokey haze.
Todays wood is almond (once again from the family farm.) It burns nicely and lends a sweet smoke flavor. When it clears a bit and I can see, it looks like some of the regulars are there: salmon, ahi, pork ribs, and whats this......scallops?
Aren't those supposed to be cooked fast, and barely?
During the last smoke session, Aunty came up with an idea. "Hey D, what do you think about smoking some scallops?" Uhh......I don't think I've ever heard of that one, maybe its for a reason. "Yeah, like some of the big ones, so they don't fall through the grate, or dry out in 5 minutes. I think they'd work just fine, maybe brined like the last fish you made.....the sweetness of the scallop would go nicely with the smoke." It was a fine point. "Maybe I'll buy some at TJ's and we can try it the next time you fire up the smoker." So, with friends coming over this weekend, I had occasion to fire it up. I talked to Aunty and she gave me a bag of enormous frozen scallops. I put them in a brine made with water, salt, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, shallot and garlic. The same brine was used for the fish. The ribs were done with a "special" new rub consisting of brown sugar, salt, fresh ground cumin, coriander and pepper, paprika and cinnamon. All of the respective meats were then put in the fridge overnight.
The ribs were yummy, the salmon and ahi damn fine, and the scallops........well they tasted great, but the consistency was a bit strange while they were still warm (maybe thats why I hadn't heard of them before.) We let them rest, put them in the fridge and tried them later. Much better cold. In the future, I think I'd slice them finely, and garnish something with them or julienne them and make it an ingredient in a cold salad.
Or leave them whole and just eat them, cause they sure were pretty.