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A taste for scallops (and grits)

Q: I went to brunch with my boyfriend at NYY Steak at the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek. As a vegetarian, I was pleasantly surprised by all the buffet choices. One dish that was really exceptional was the BBQ scallops. Do you think you can get the recipe so I can make it for our upcoming anniversary dinner at home? — Tara McNaull, Fort Lauderdale

A: Once a monthly affair, the Sunday brunch at NYY Steak (5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek; 954-935-6699; seminolecasinococonutcreek.com/dining/nyy-steak) is now offered weekly by popular demand. NYY Steak is notorious for its in-house butcher shop, where dry-aged USDA Prime meat is carefully tended to and cared for by a highly-skilled, passionate staff. Meaty entrees include the Hash & Egg Benedict, a poached egg with smoked pork hash in a crispy potato basket, fresh-cut NY Strips or braised, cola glazed short ribs, to name a few.

But, as Tara mentioned, the brunch selection is vast. You start with a bloody Mary, mimosa or a bellini greeting. Then you can pick from smoked fish and seafood displays, salads, cheeses, carving stations, entrees, side dishes and omelets or pancakes to order. Be sure to pace yourself. You wouldn't want to miss out on the extensive dessert table, complete with crepes and Bananas Foster stations.

Executive chef Matt Sadowski is no newbie on the gaming scene, having worked at several casinos including Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa and Seminole Casino Immokalee.

NYY Steak's BBQ scallops on wilted spinach

12 sea scallops, muscle attachment removed (pat dry with paper towel)

NYY steak BBQ rub (see recipe)

2 tablespoons canola oil

Wilted spinach, for serving (see recipe)

Mustard ale BBQ sauce, for serving (see recipe)

4 ounces micro greens, for garnish

1 Lightly season scallops on both sides with NYY Steak BBQ rub. Using a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the scallops and sear on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.

2 To serve, place on a bed of wilted spinach and top each scallop with a tablespoon of warm BBQ sauce. Garnish with micro greens.

Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 459 calories, 42% calories from fat, 22 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 59 mg cholesterol, 36 g carbohydrates, 40 g protein, 713 mg sodium, 11 g fiber

 

NYY Steak's BBQ rub

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Place ingredients in a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 tablespoons.

Nutrition information per serving: 15 calories, 0% calories from fat, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 1,923 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

 

Wilted spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ cups diced yellow onions

5 pounds of fresh spinach

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Using a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Season with crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper, to taste.

Make 3 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 132 calories, 12% calories from fat, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 23 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 347 mg sodium, 9 g fiber

 

Mustard ale BBQ sauce

1 cup Open Pit BBQ Sauce

3 tablespoons bottle amber beer

1/2 cup yellow mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Nutrition information per 1 tablespoon: 27 calories, 26% calories from fat, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 43 mg sodium, trace fiber

 

Q: I recently had the pleasure of dining at Indigo Restaurant at the Riverside Hotel. I ordered scallops, which were very good. They came on a bed of creamy grits. I have never had grits that creamy or that good. Can you get the recipe from Indigo? — Elaine Michelson, Tamarac

A: I grew up on grits. My father was from Louisiana and loved them. I love them. But he was a purist and the thought of adding cheese to a perfectly good bowl of grits was nothing short of culinary bastardization. This is where we differ. I adore them with Parmigiano, goat or cheddar.

Long before grits earned their place on trendy, high-end restaurant menus, they soothed the souls and appetites of Southerners and were a staple of workers' diets. They are so closely associated with the southern United States that the region is often called the Grits Belt. Executive chef Toby Joseph of Indigo Restaurant (The Riverside Hotel, 620 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-467-0671; riversidehotel.com) oversees all food and beverage operations, which includes two restaurants and a staff of 35. The Boston native is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University's culinary arts program.

Indigo's seared scallops & cheesy grits

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 teaspoons minced shallots

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 quart milk

1 quart heavy cream

2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

3 cups Quaker instant grits

Salt, to taste

Seared scallops (see recipe)

1 Using a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of butter. Saute the shallots and garlic until soft, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme, milk, heavy cream and remaining butter.

2 Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow the butter to melt completely, being careful that the liquid doesn't boil over.

3 Using a whisk, add the cheese. After the cheese has melted, whisk in the grits. If the grits appear thin, continue cooking on medium-high heat until thickened but still creamy.

Remove the thyme stems and season with salt, to taste.

4 Divide grits between shallow serving bowls and top with seared scallops.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 1,249 calories, 72% calories from fat, 100 g fat, 57 g saturated fat, 346 mg cholesterol, 45 g carbohydrates, 42 g protein, 1,119 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

 

Seared scallops

24 dry-packed U/10 scallops

¼ cup grapeseed oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Using a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until it starts to smoke. Cook the scallops, 12 at a time, searing each side for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat the process with remaining scallops.

2 Finish cooking scallops in the oven for 1-2 minutes, or until just barely opaque in the center.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 155 calories, 43% calories from fat, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 44 mg cholesterol, 3 g carbohydrates, 18 g protein, 209 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

 

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