Welp, there it is folks. Summer came and went. Just like that! (Pretend I just snapped my fingers.) Is it just me, or did it go by especially fast this year? Okay, technically there’s still a few weeks left in the season, but Labor Day is behind us, kids are back in school, the
weather’s cooling down (it’s actually still really hot), and suddenly all my favorite summer beers are being replaced with Oktoberfest taps. Fall is on it’s way. But first, we get September! And September should be a season all it’s own.
Here at the Jersey shore, September means low humidity, ample sunshine, quiet beaches, big waves, and boat loads of ripe red tomatoes. It’s like the little reward for all of the locals who put up with the influx of traffic, crowds, and, um, unique personalities all summer long.
September also means lots of really fun activities and festivals throughout NJ, my favorite being the Atlantic City Seafood Fest, happening this weekend, September 12th + 13th at Bader Field. I’ve had the privilege of being part of the fest for the past few years, and each year it gets better than the last.
This Saturday and Sunday you can find me in the cooking demo tent, hanging with some of South Jersey’s best culinary talent. I’ll be MCing all of the cooking demonstrations, and I can’t wait to see what all of the incredible chef’s have in store. We have a great line up! Will you be attending the festival this year? Stop by and see us!
I love AC Seafood Fest because it highlights the incredible seafood we have coming out of our local oceans. So many people associate Atlantic City with casinos, and only casinos. But there’s such a rich culture here that’s defined solely by the water that surrounds us – we surf, we kayak, we sail, we swim, we fish, we crab, we clam. We have salt water in our blood. And, yeah, sure, there’s those casinos over there just in case we ever need a fancy night out.
Fun Fact! Did you know the state of New Jersey exports more scallops than any other animal product? It’s the truth. We’ve got crazy good scallops up in here. They’re sweet, succulent, and always incredibly fresh. When buying scallops, always ask or look for the word “dry.” “Wet” scallops have been treated with a solution and pumped with water to make them look plump. They’re not so bueno.
If you’ve never tried scallops raw, you’ve been missing out on something special. They have a beautiful, tender texture, and mild, ocean-kissed flavor. In this ceviche, corn and cucumber add extra summery sweetness and crunch, along with red onion and cilantro to bump up the flavor. Lemon and orange juice brighten everything up, and slightly “cook” the outside of the scallops. And by cook, I really mean “denature,” which is the technical term for what happens when citric acid changes the protein structure of raw seafood, turning the flesh firm and opaque, as if it’s been cooked.
Soak up these last few days of summer with some bright, fresh scallop ceviche. And if you don’t want to make it yourself, I reckon you’ll be able to find something similar this weekend at AC Seafood Fest. Come and see us! You’ll be glad you did.
- 2 ears sweet white corn, shucked
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into a 1/4-1/2 inch dice
- 1 jalapeño chiles minced (remove seeds for less heat)
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 lb very fresh dry sea scallops
- Tortilla chips for serving
- Bring a medium-large pot of water up to a boil. Drop in the corn and cook for about 3 minutes. Allow the corn to cool, then remove the kernels from the cob and place in a bowl. To that, add the cucumber, jalapeño, red onion and cilantro.
- In another bowl, combine the lemon juice, orange juice, salt and vegetable oil, and set aside. Rinse the scallops of any sand or grit, and remove the tough side muscle. Cut the scallops into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the bowl with the vegetables. Pour the dressing over, mix well, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Serve within 24 hours.
- It is important that you only use the freshest scallops possible. If they're questionable, cook them.