Sweetheart, I’m only going to tell you this once: EVERYTHING tastes better on a charcoal grill.
There’s a Weber charcoal grill on my deck. I don’t really know how to use it, but I do know that charcoal grilling is a completely different experience from gas grilling (thanks to The Boyfriend, quoted above). I don’t know so much about that, but the Weber did magical things to baked potatoes the other night, so I’ll give it a shot.
My first tiptoe into the world of charcoal grilling ended up being scallops. I’m not including ingredient amounts, because this one’s a pretty easy recipe to eyeball. Just make as many scallops as you have/want to eat!
Scallops on the Barbie
scallops (regular sized or jumbo, frozen or fresh — it doesn’t matter)
red bell pepper, cut into pieces about the size of your scallops
fresh ground pepper
Grab some fresh scallops (or thaw out the frozen kind), and season them with fresh ground pepper and salt. Give them a little bath of equal parts lemon and lime juice for 15 minutes. Slide the scallops onto skewers with some red bell pepper, and grill until the scallops are cooked through (they’ll turn opaque) and then just for a bit longer so the outside browns lightly. On my grill, this took about 10 minutes (flip the skewers after 5). Then, take them off the grill immediately, because overcooked scallops are super rubbery and not tasty.
But then…those are just scallops. They have a light citrusy taste and a bit of the special je ne sais quoi that charcoal grilling adds to food, but they could use a little something extra.
That something is a sauce. It’s not quite a pesto because there are no pine nuts or cheese, and there’s lime juice to thin it out, but it’s made with the mortar and pestle, so I’m going to just call it a basil-lime pesto.
It’s super easy, and super quick, because I thought about the sauce at the very very last minute, and I didn’t want to interrupt dinner to make anything fancy.
Into the mortar and pestle: a couple of basil leaves, a few turns of fresh ground pepper, a little bit of sea salt, a glug of olive oil, and several squirts of lime juice. Grind the leaves down, and mix it all into a thick sauce. It’s a little bit tangy, and it makes the scallops pop.