Grilled Scallop Tostadas with Peanut Mole/Two Brothers Pinball/Worshipper “Shadow Hymns”
We’ve been trying to eat more fish around here lately. Not always the easiest task, living in the midwest, when you’re also trying to eat fresh, wild caught fish that doesn’t cost as much as a beef tenderloin. Tonight we grilled up some scallops, not one of our go-to’s usually, but every time we make them we declare we need to make them more often. The scallops this evening come off the grill and into a super easy and delicious mock peanut mole sauce made with taco sauce, chicken stock, our La Curandera rub, chocolate, cinnamon, peanut butter and crushed tortilla chips. The saucy scallops get piled high on a fresh fried corn tortilla and topped with plain greek yogurt, cilantro, jalapeño, fresh avocado slices and cotija cheese. This, “made for summer” dish was paired up with the equally “made for summer” Pinball pale ale from local Two Brothers Brewing. On the stereo the retro doom of Boston’s Worshipper and their latest release “Shadow Hymns”.
Grilled Scallop Tostadas with Peanut Mole – We’re actually going to do all the cooking grill side for this dinner. We’ll grill the scallops on one side and make the peanut mole in a foil pan on the other side. Which not only means less clean-up inside, but more time enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors. Let’s start with this mock mole we’ve concocted. As we mentioned before on here; not only are moles one of the more difficult sauces to make, but the traditional rich, chocolatey moles are not among our favorite of the Mexican sauces. So we created our own, with a base of chicken stock, taco sauce and our La Curandera seasoning (alternatively, a taco/fajita seasoning can be used, but since those are laden with salt, use no-salt chicken stock). In a foil pan, combine 2 cups of stock with a jar of taco sauce and a couple of tablespoons of La Curandera. Mix well and bring to a boil.
To this mixture we’re going to add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa and 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon. Stir well until the sauce is darkened.
Now we’re going to go in with the peanut butter, a huge scoop of it. We’re using about 4 tablespoons of an all natural, creamy butter that we stir right into the sauce until it melts right in and begins to thicken it.
Let the sauce boil for a couple of minutes. If it doesn’t thicken enough, you can add a cup or two of crushed tortilla chips to help thicken it more. Once it reaches the desired consistency, shift the pan over to the cool side. Next up are the scallops. We’re using jumbo scallops that we rub down with more La Curandera.
Place over medium/high heat on the grill. These only take but 2-3 minutes per side to cook through and char up. Once they’re done, we just pop them into the waiting mole sauce to soak up some of that sauce.
As scallops are bathing in the mole, we can fry up some corn tortillas to form the base of the tostadas.
Now we start to build these tostadas starting with the scallops and mole sauce then a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
Next up we chop some fresh jalapeño and cilantro and scatter them on top of the scallops followed by slices of fresh avocado.
The final step is just a dusting of cotija cheese across the whole thing and you’ve got Mexican seafood perfection.
Two Brothers Pinball – This west suburban brewery has just exploded in recent years, distributing their beers regionally with an ever increasing product line. Warrenville’s Two Brothers Brewing has always had a penchant for the hoppier beers and Pinball is no exception. The beer pours a cloudy bronze with a billlowey head full of nooks and crannies. The aroma is more malt forward than what you would expect from a beer labeled as a “juicy hop pale ale”; the hoppiness that is there on the nose is a little more on the honey sweet side. Things take a 180 on the flavor end, with the hops taking center stage right off the bat in tongue-tingling form. Sweet apricot and bitter citrus peel vie for top honors while the malty backbone keeps things well-balanced. Pinball is a great addition along side Outlaw and Sidekick to their Pale Ale/IPA collection and it went great with these delicious tostadas.
Worshipper “Shadow Hymns” – This killer album harkens back to the early to mid-80s days of doom, bringing to mind Trouble at their prime. Partly due to the dark, yet melodic metal that is on display, with incredibly impressive musicianship but mainly due to the Eric Wagner meets Lenny Wolf vocals of Worshipper frontman John Brookhouse. Their latest release, “Shadow Hymns” starts out with the hard driving “High Above the Clouds” which also may be the album’s best track. With a riff equivalent to being pounded in the head with a sledgehammer, the song chugs along at a slow, yet heavy pace with a little organ thrown in for good doomy, measure. “Step Behind” picks up the pace with a lightening riff and great soloing that displays some of the finest elements of the NWOBHM. Seemingly no metal era unturned, the opening riff of “Ghosts and Breath” is right out of Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” handbook, just more melodic. “Darkness” flat out smokes; a song made for the open road, if that road is pitch black, the moon is full, there are bats flying all around you and you’ve got the pedal floored as you’re trying to escape something that is behind you. After a brief yet beautiful acoustic intro, “Place Beyond the Light” kicks into a great medium-paced rocker that dabbles in he 80s arena rock of the Scorpions. “Another Yesterday” is another of the album’s highlights; a building, layered and airy tune that will have you headbanging in slow and controlled fashion almost immediately. The album closes with “Black Corridor”, the album’s heaviest track and closes things out with a huge sonic bang.