Special of the Day: Seattle Seafood…Yes, Please!

26 Aug Special of the Day: Seattle Seafood…Yes, Please!

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit, Fennel and Mint

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit, Fennel and Mint


A marvelous mid-week getaway to Seattle to catch up with close college friends and family recently afforded me several opportunities to sample some of the best Seattle has to offer, thanks to my dear friend Danielle, my brother Kelly and his girlfriend Lindsay, who had mapped out many fun foodie destinations throughout my visit.

When you are lucky enough to be that close to the ocean, you’re well-advised to order the seafood, and I have to say I certainly took full advantage at every opportunity.

Upon arrival, Danielle whisked me off to a charming restaurant in Pioneer Square called Bar Sajor where Danielle, Kelly, Lindsay and I enjoyed an array of artfully arranged seasonal specialties showcasing local produce and provisions prepared in an amiable open kitchen.

Lunch at the lively Purple Café and Wine Bar in downtown Seattle the next day was just as delightful as Danielle and I chatted and noshed and sipped our way through a flight of Washington whites. The eclectic décor, versatile menu, casual atmosphere and extensive wine list creates a definite not-to-be-missed spot to add to the wine lover’s Trip to Seattle list.

Happy hour at Six Seven, the lounge at the legendary Edgewater Hotel on the Seattle waterfront overlooking Elliot Bay, provided the perfect prefunction to our elegant evening out at Aqua by El Gaucho, located just down the street on Pier 70. As you might have guessed, seafood is the star of the show at Aqua, and their luscious and refreshing seared scallops with grapefruit, fennel and mint proved to be the the perfect summer supper by the sea.

Sunset dining on Halibut-kissed Ceviche, Dungeness Crab “Un”cakes, and Rockin’ Rockfish tacos at Duke’s Chowderhouse on Alki made for a memorable send-off dinner, sparking hopes that I might secure the recipe for the Halibut Ceviche to make at home and share with all of you. And having been out of the kitchen for a full four days at this point, I frankly couldn’t wait to get home and try to replicate the recipe for seared scallops with grapefruit, fennel and mint on fresh orange beurre blanc.

With thanks to Greg Green, General Manager of Duke’s Chowderhouse Alki,who kindly shared their recipe for Halibut Kissed Ceviche comes this week’s Special of the Day. Savor some of the best of Seattle with this week’s Special of the Day: Seattle Seafood…Yes, Please  and recipes for Seared Scallops with Grapefruit, Fennel and Mint and Duke’s Halibut Kissed Ceviche. Enjoy!

If you go…

  • Bar Sajor, 323 Occidental Avenue South, Seattle, 206.682.1117
  • Purple Café andWine Bar, 1225 4th Avenue, Seattle, 206.829.2280
  • Edgewater Hotel- Happy Hour at Six Seven, 2411 Alaskan Way, Seattle, 206.269.4575
  • Aqua by El Gaucho, 2801 Alaskan Way, Pier 70, Seattle, 206.956.9171
  • Duke’s Chowderhouse Alki, 2516 Alki Avenue SW, Seattle, 206.937.6100
Seared Scallops with Grapefruit, Fennel and Mint

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit, Fennel and Mint

Seared Scallops with Grapefruit, Fennel and Mint

(inspired by Seared Scallops with Grapefruit, Fennel and Mint at Aqua)

Recipe by Sydne George

(serves two for dinner)

¼ cup  Ruby Red grapefruit, peeled, seeded and outer pith removed, sliced into small pieces

2 tbsp. fresh fennel bulb, sliced into paper thin slices (use a mandolin if you have one)

1 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, minced

Make the Fresh Orange Beurre Blanc:

¾ cup white wine

¼ cup white wine vinegar

¼ cup shallots

2 tbsp. fresh orange juice

½ cup real butter, cut into 1 tbsp. pats

In a medium heavy sauce pan over medium high heat, bring wine, vinegar and shallots to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by half.  Strain. Return strained mixture to stove.

Add orange juice and cream to pan and whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time. Remove from heat and place on back of stove.

Sear the scallops:

2 tbsp. blood orange olive oil + additional for searing (available at Wines by Wednesday or Pizazz)

12 large sea scallops, patted dry with paper towels


Freshly ground pepper

Heat a large sized sauté pan over medium high heat. Toss scallops and olive oil in large sealable plastic baggie to coat. Remove from baggie and season scallops with salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides.

Cover bottom only of a large sauté pan with blood orange olive oil. Heat over high heat until hot. Add scallops and sear until golden brown. Turn and sear other side of scallops. Remove from pan and set aside.

To plate:

Spoon Orange Beurre Blanc onto serving plates.

Top with seared scallops.

Arrange grapefruit and fennel around scallops.

Sprinkle with mint.


Halibut Kissed Ceviche

(Recipe courtesy of Duke’s)

8 oz Wild Alaska Halibut

3 limes

8 oz Dukecumber Pico de Gallo

Cut halibut in ¼ inch pieces.  Cut limes in half and squeeze on halibut and mix well. The citric acid cooks the fish.  Cover and marinate over night (Halibut should have lost all translucency when done). It helps to stir several times, to ensure an even cooking by the lime juice.

Strain moisture from halibut mixture.

Add marinated halibut and Dukecumber Pico de Gallo in large martini glass to impress your friends.  Shelf life on this product is 2 days.

Chef Bill Tip: If you have extra Dukecumber Pico de Gallo, eat it with chips and salsa.  It’s great for a pool party.  Use it as a topping for broiled chicken breast.  It makes a great filling for your cheese quesadilla, adds crunch and flavor to almost any salad.  Also good served as a tostada.

A great addition is to add some chopped fresh avocado, and garnish with cilantro sprigs

Dukecumber Pico De Gallo

1 cup diced ripe tomato

¼ cup small diced green onions (do not use “white stalk” – it can be too hot)

1 cup small diced cucumber

½ tsp crushed red pepper

juice from 1 lemon (seeds removed)

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ bunch cilantro, stems removed, medium chop

Peel and seed cucumber (cut in half and scrape out seeds).  Dice cucumber, tomatoes and green onions and mix with all other ingredients. Hold in refrigerator until mealtime.

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the Day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.


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