In an effort to keep my vacation memories and affect glowing bright, my 30-minute dinner for today’s post consists of a remake of a dish I ate at Ford’s, a little-known lobster shack (until now) that opened about four years ago on the coast of Connecticut near Mystic.
Now I must have driven by Ford’s a bunch of times but the sign is small and sits on the side of the road and could pass as a place to just purchase lobsters.
One of my main goals in the great state of Maine while on vacation, including the road trip to and back from the Hudson Valley to get there, is to seek out and try as many lobster shacks as possible. How Ford’s has evaded me till now is a mystery.
I hit the jackpot with this one. It has all the comforts of a typical shack, such as a dock and outside seating with plastic chairs, but that is where the comparison ends. They have a specials menu, they have some of the best boats parked at their dock and sailing by (see my photo of the one I would love to own, which will only happen if I win the lottery), and they also serve their food on enamelware plates (no soggy, ridiculous, thin paper plates here). This just steps up the service a notch!
Speaking of service, every person who greeted and served us that day only raised the bar higher for any other shack, as they could not have been more knowledgeable about the menu, helpful and patient. They never made us feel bad for sitting at one of the premier spots on the dock for at least an hour and a half, without an eyebrow raised or presenting us with a check until we asked. It was as though we were visiting friends at their private dock.
Also, the darn shack is even open in the winter! No other lobster shack stays open in the winter, as far as I know.
So if you are in the great state of Connecticut and are looking for some fresh new ideas and new takes on lobster, this is your place.
The special that day was pan-seared diver scallops on arugula with red onion, watermelon, feta (what screams summer more?) with a charred citrus vinaigrette.
I know feta seems odd with scallops but it really does work. This recipe is basically a play on the traditional feta, onion and watermelon salad. Remember that salt brings out sweet, so the salty feta not only enhances the natural sweetness of the scallops, but the watermelon as well! It’s a perfect blend of sweet (watermelon/scallops), sour (lime juice), bitter (peppery arugula) and salty (feta).
Below is my take on the day’s special. You can make this dish from start to finish in 20 minutes.
To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.
Pan Seared Scallops on Watermelon, Feta and Arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 dry diver scallops (wild that have been hand-picked by a scuba diver)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1-1/2 cups organic baby arugula
1/4 cup sliced seedless watermelon
1/8 cup sliced red onion
1/8 cup sliced Greek feta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or more, to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Heat oil in a small, nonstick (preferably seasoned cast iron or ceramic coated) skillet over moderately high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper and cook, turning once, until they are just cooked through and golden brown on two sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate (they will continue to cook once you remove them from heat).
- Toss arugula in a bowl with remaining ingredients and top with scallops. Season with more salt and pepper, and serve.
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