Every fall we head to the outer Cape—specifically to Provincetown, the last town on the tip of Cape Cod. Friends very graciously loan us their house, a charming 2 story within easy walking distance (through the cemetery short cut) from busy Commercial Street in the heart of “P-town.” We are joined by our very close friends, Lynn and Doug, who are as enthusiastic as we are for what has become the annual seafood run. We usually load the car with vittles so we don’t have to shop much, other than our daily run to Mac’s Seafood (www.macsseafood.com) in Truro Center. Dinners are over the top and lunches are usually created from the remains of last night’s dinner and all of them are centered on seafood.
Every dinner begins with oysters—at least 6 per person. Sometimes I’ll make a gravlax or seviche as an extra appetizer to accompany the oysters and champagne, prosecco, or some new white that Doug and my husband, Steve, have picked up at the wine shop conveniently located around the bend in the road.
Lobster, clams, scallops, halibut, blue fish, shrimp, and, of course, cod, fight for a place on the daily menu. Steve is allergic to fish with scales, so if we have chosen a scaly fish, shellfish or tuna is made especially for him. The Saturday farmers market fills in the veggie plate. We do nothing but wander the beaches and eat. What joy!
The scallops are always day-boat and pristine and, although they can be eaten just “as is,” (which I often do as I cook), the following recipe for seviche is one of our favorites. It is not really a defined recipe, but I can give you an idea of how to duplicate it.
For 4 to 6 people, you will need 1 pound of pristine scallops. Cut them, crosswise, into thin slices. Place the scallop slices in a nonreactive bowl—glass is great.
Cover the scallops with Moscato vinegar (this is important, no other vinegar seems to create the same slightly sweet taste that complements the delicate scallops). Grate about half of the zest of a large organic orange into the bowl. Then, to your taste, add finely diced jalapeño and chives. Stir, cover, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, but no more than an hour. When ready to serve, fan the slices out on individual plates, drizzle the marinating liquid over the top, and sprinkle a bit of sea salt over the top.