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Food for the shore or country

The Baltimore Sun

The Summer Shack Cookbook

The Complete Guide to Shore Food

The New York Times Country Weekend Cookbook

Edited by Linda Amster

St. Martin's Press / 2007 / $32

If Jasper White's guide to summer eating is like a classic lobster roll from a roadside stand, this compilation from the august newspaper of record brings to mind a wine-and-cheese picnic for a New York Philharmonic concert on Central Park's Great Lawn.

Cleanly designed, filled with urbane but easy recipes, the book is a conglomeration of finds from Times' food writers and some of the nation's best chefs. My only quibble is with the decidedly unhelpful recipe planner in the appendix.

The asparagus-based risotto was herby and excellent. I'd recommend making the luxuriously rich Leek, Mushroom and Goat-Cheese Tart in a circle form, rather than the rectangles initially called for in the recipe. Instead of cutting off strips to make a rim, I just bent the pastry over at the edges. Leave plenty of time to chop the ingredients if you're expecting company. The result, my guests and I agreed, made a fantastic and indulgent first course.

Grilled Sea Scallops With Maple-Lemon Glaze

Serves 8

1 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B (which is less refined and has a richer flavor)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

salt and pepper to taste

32 large sea scallops

2 tablespoons olive oil

Soak 8 wooden skewers for at least an hour. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

To make the glaze, combine the maple syrup and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (If the syrup boils rapidly, it will foam and cook over.) Simmer until the glaze has reduced to 3/4 cup, about 15 minutes.

Season the glaze with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a covered container and store at room temperature; do not refrigerate.

Thread the scallops on the skewers, putting 4 on each. Drizzle with olive oil. Place on the hot grill and cook 2 minutes. Flip once and apply a thin coat of glaze to the scallops; cook another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill and lightly glaze the other side.

Adapted from "The Summer Shack Cookbook"

Per serving (4 scallops): 189 calories, 10 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 100 milligrams sodium

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