Balsamic Reduction with Grilled Scallops and Fennel
- For the Balsamic Reduction:
- 7 1/2-8 ounces Balsamic vinegar
- a good pinch or two each, coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- For the Scallops and Fennel:
- 20 scallops (5 per person) white muscle removed from the side, patted very dry before cooking
- 1 fennel bulb, cut into 1/8 size pieces, tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with coarse kosher salt and pepper, some feathery green leaves set aside for garnish
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, approximately, for brushing scallops on both sides for grilling
- a couple good pinches coarse kosher salt over scallops, and more to taste
- a couple good pinches cracked black pepper over scallops
- small saucepan
- wooden spoon for stirring reduction
- pastry brush for brushing scallops with olive oil
- plastic squirt bottle designed for food use
- small funnel for pouring reduction into plastic bottle
- grill trays for scallops and fennel if desired
Adapted from spicedpeachblog.com
For Balsamic Reduction
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small, heavy, saucepan and heat on very, very low heat until balsamic reduces nearly halfway, or to desired thickness for use with squirt bottle, approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes, stirring frequently in between. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, check seasoning. Let reduction cool then use a funnel to siphon finished sauce into plastic squirt bottle.
For the fennel
Preheat gas grill for fifteen minutes, spray grill tray with oil if using, placing fennel quarters on top, grill on medium low heat until crisp tender, about twenty to twenty-five minutes, turning fennel over intermittently.
For the Scallops
Grease grill tray or grates for cooking scallops. Dry scallops very well using paper towels, brush top and underside of scallops with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place scallops on very high heat, not flaming. Grill for three minutes, turn scallops over, grill for another three minutes. Cook another minute or two if desired for further doneness.
Begin grilling fennel. Meanwhile, drizzle Balsamic Reduction onto each place with a decorative design. Ten minutes before fennel is done, begin grilling scallops. Place fennel pieces onto each plate then arrange finished scallops, sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper if desired. Add a small piece of fennel top to each platter.
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