All recipes paired with wine, Fish and Seafood

Pan seared scallops with creamy corn

Pan seared scallops with creamy corn

I have to admit, this is not my original recipe. It is my favorite appetizer at Burton’s Grill in East Windsor, CT. Who ever created this combination, was a genius. I tried to recreate the taste and structure of this dish at home – and now I will share it with you. This to me is a perfect light dinner for hot summer day. Well, if it’s not enough for you, have it as an appetizer and top it with a piece of grilled steak as a second course!

Pan seared scallops with creamy corn


4 scallops per portion
3-4 ears of fresh corn (for 2 people)
1 jalapeno pepper
1 shallot
2-3 scallions
1/2 half of red bell pepper (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of Old bay seasoning
1/3 cup of cornmeal
chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Let’s start with your creamy corn first, because the scallops only need few minutes.

In a shallow bowl, hold ears of corn upright and, with a sharp knife, cut kernels from the cobs. Then with blunt edge of the knife, scrape juice from cobs. Set aside.

In heavy pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter, add finely chopped shallot and jalapeno and cook for a minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add finely chopped scallions and bell pepper and add all the corn.

Cover with heavy cream and let cook on medium heat stirring occasionally, until the cream thickens. In the restaurant there is also a bacon in this recipe, but I wasn’t brave enough to add more fat to this “light dish”!

When the corn is cooked, set aside and keep warm. Clean your scallops and pat them dry with paper towel. Mix seasoning with cornmeal and dust your scallops with the mixture.

Heat reminding butter with olive oil and sear scallops on high heat until medium rare – about 2 minutes per side, depends on its thickness. You can also grill it, if you prefer.

Spread creamy corn on each plate and top it with pan seared scallops. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

Wine pairing suggestions:

I have once had this dish with Hess Collection Chardonnay Su’skol – the very generous, oaky, round and buttery style Chardonnay from Napa. The creaminess of this corn was a superb match the first time and I didn’t even try another wine with it since.

When something was such a perfect match, I didn’t feel like messing it up! Please, note that I have an older review on this wine – see if you can get newer release – 2007 vintage.

All recipes paired with wine, Fish and Seafood, Summer Grilling

Grilled trout

Grilled trout
Trout is such a delicate, tasty fish yet we don’t eat it often enough. One of my reasons was that I didn’t want to bother with those tiny little bones. But when I last time came to my favorite City Fish, I found out that they had a fresh, nice size trouts, completely de-boned. I couldn’t resist to grab few and trow them on the grill. The simple preparation only took few minutes and before you can decide what wine to open, the fish was ready to serve.

Grilled trout


2 whole trouts
few thin slices of unsalted butter
4 slices of lemon
2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Garlic and herb salt free seasoning
(or any other favorite seasoning mixture)
salt and pepper if desired
1/4 cup olive oil

Open trout and sprinkle seasoning on the inside of the fish. Cut thin slices of butter and put on on half of the fish. Cover with 2 thin slices of lemon, close with the second half and secure with skewers. Place in refrigerator for at least half an hour.

When ready to grill, take out of the fridge, brush skin with an olive oil and place in grilling basket. You can also grill it directly on your grill, just use caution when turning around.

Preheat grill on medium hot. Place your basket or fish and cover. Mine were pretty big and it only took 3-4 minutes on each side and they were ready.

The lemon with butter and seasoning created a lovely combination with the delicate meat. Serve immediately with any vegetables you like.

Wine pairing suggestions:

I picked Argentinian Torrontes called Alamos to pair with this light summer dinner. It was absolutely delicious together. My other pick was Maculan Pino & Toi, long time Italian favorite that I didn’t taste for quite some time. Both wines were a great match with simply prepared trout.

All recipes paired with wine, Salads, Summer Grilling, Veggies based & Vegetarian

Grilled summer salad

Grilled summer salad

I have seen Giada on TV once, making something like this as an Italian antipasto. I didn’t take any notes and believe it was originally combined with orzo, cheese and meat. Well, it looked delicious so I tried to create a meal based on that inspiration. It served us as a delicious light dinner with few grilled shrimps and we loved it! Use your fantasy with different veggies or serving suggestions.

Grilled summer salad

2 medium green zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 large red onion
2 large Portabella mushrooms
1/2 lb of snow peas
1/2 cup combined of chopped basil, parsley and tarragon
juice from half a lemon
salt and pepper
olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Bring water in large pan to broil. Rinse snow peas in water, then cut the tip of each snow pea and pull out the tough string that runs along its side. Add peas to boiling water and quickly blanch them for 30 – 40 seconds. Drain and let cool.

Preheat your grill. Clean all your vegetables and cut into about 1/2 inch thick slices – zucchini and eggplant lengthwise, bell peppers seeded and cut in half or quarters, red onion in thick slices and mushrooms caps leave whole.

Sprinkle with olive oil and grill on each side until soft. Take off the grill and let cool a little. Cut each veggies into small pieces (about the same size) and mix in a large salad bowl with blanched snow peas.

Add chopped herbs, sprinkle with a generous amount of good quality olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar, mix well and serve at the room temperature. As the warm flavors of veggies blend with aroma of herbs and oil, this is a mouthwatering experience.
Grilled summer salad
For a non- vegetarian version throw a few shrimps, sprinkled with olive oil and a sea salt (devained, but unpeeled) on the grill and dress up your salad with a delicious seafood. Enjoy a light, great summer dinner.

Wine pairing suggestions:
As I added grilled shrimp to this summer salad, I opted for crisp white wine to go with it. My first choice was Californian Pacific Rim Dry Riesling. The herbs and aromas of this salad went great with this super aromatic wine. The second choice was Kris Pinot Grigio from Italy. Both wines worked really well.

All recipes paired with wine, Fish and Seafood

Fish and rice pilaf

Fish and rice pilafI have originally created this recipe as a solution for left over rice. (yeas, you can also mix the fish and veggies with already cooked rice, but if you follow this recipe, the flavor of the rice dish will be richer)

Fish and rice pilaf


2 cups of rice (1 cup/2 people)
1 pound of any fish (I used salmon, but you can use any fish you like)
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped (optional)
1 leek
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of dry white wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Half a cup of fresh peas (could be frozen)
1 tablespoon of Emeril’s Italian Essence spice mix (or Herbes de Provence)
½ cup of Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil on medium heat in heavy pan and cook onion, celery and leek ((carefully washed and sliced into small rings – white part and ½ of the green part) until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and let cook for a few seconds.

Add rinsed rice, mix with vegetables and fry for 30 seconds, stirring. Season with salt and pepper. (watch out the salt if not using low sodium broth). Add all of the chicken broth and bring to boil. When reached boil, turn down the heat to low, cover the pan and let it cook for 40 minutes – or until the rice is done.

Before the rice is finished, prepare your fish. Cut it into small cubes and carefully remove any possible bones. In frying pan heat olive oil and butter. When hot, add fish, sprinkle with salt, pepper and the spices and fry quickly on medium hot. Add wine, stir together and let cook until the wine is almost reduced.

Fluff the rice when ready with a large spoon. Add fish mixture to the rice with the created sauce and mix together. Add peas and let it warm up in the rice. Taste and add more seasoning if desired. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy.

Wine pairing suggestions:
I have matched this dish with two different white wines, one from Sonoma, California – Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc and the other wine I picked was Sardinian Vermentino, called Argiolas Vermentino “Costamolino”