Friday, August 19, 2011

Craig’s Simple Retort–Cod, Shrimp, and Bay Scallops in a Garlic Butter Sauce Over Linguini Paired with 2006 Naked Mountain Barrel Fermented Virginia Chardonnay

Cod Shrimp Bay Scallps in a Butter Garlic Sauce over Linguini-1

In my last post “Fresh Seafood Medley of Cod Fillet, Shrimp, And Bay Scallops in a Turmeric Basil Marinade with Mushroom Risotto and Garlic Sautéed Brussels Sprouts Paired with 2009 Benziger Family Winery Sonoma Coast Wente Clone Chardonnay” I featured a creation by Chef Sue inspired by the idea of simply prepared seafood designed to let the beautiful flavors of the seafood shine.  For the full back-story, I encourage you to check out the last post.  In short, this pairing is my interpretation of the same idea.  Chef Sue and I took dramatically different approaches.  In my opinion (the only one that counts because I am doing the writing) my interpretation was closer to the original inspiration.  However, the consensus opinion was that both interpretations were exceedingly pleasurable – it was a gastronomic draw.  Although we are very competitive (in a friendly way), a draw is good, both from the food enjoyment perspective and that of maintaining a healthy marriage.

Shrimp and Scallop Sautee

Based on the inspiration for this pairing, I limited the recipe to just a few simple ingredients.  The stars of the performance were the cod, shrimp, and bay scallops.  Each were prepared with just a few ingredients; olive oil, butter, garlic, fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper over a small bed of linguini.  The result was the spectacular flavor of fresh seafood with simple support from the other ingredients.  In addition to the warm, sweet, fresh, and buttery flavors of the seafood, the other ingredients served to only support while not overpowering the brine and sea scents extracted through the cooking process.  This dish is rich and indulgent – the type that makes your eyes roll back in your head from the simple extravagance of well prepared food porn.

Shrimp and Scallop Sautee-1

Now on to the wine.  I am a big supporter of supporting locally grown and produced everything.  It just makes sense.  Stuff that is produced locally is much less energy intensive (transportation) and we all want our local folks, who are working hard, to succeed.  However, when it comes to wine, the mid-Atlantic region has not yet hit it’s stride.  I want to enjoy locally produced wine, but so far I have not been impressed.  For the Virginia and Maryland area this is likely a matter of maturity and technical winemaking execution.  I also believe it is a matter of this region searching for an identity and style much like Napa Valley in the 1970s.

2006 Naked Mountain Barrel Fermented Virginia Chardonnay

The 2006 Naked Mountain Barrel Fermented Virginia Chardonnay gives me hope.  While this wine will not strike fear into the increasingly restrained (thank you!) California Chardonnay producers, this was an enjoyable Chardonnay that I will buy again.  The winemaker does not provide tasting notes for this vintage on their website, but here is my assessment; aromas are dominated by toasted oak, vanilla, pineapple and nutmeg while the palette produces strong citrus, apple, pear, caramel, vanilla and finishes with grapefruit, butter, and a healthy portion of oak.  If you like big, full bodied, fruity, well structured Chardonnays with plenty of oak, you will like this wine.  While I enjoyed it, I personally prefer a more restrained expression of Chardonnay.  There is nothing restrained about this wine.  If the flavor profile I described fits your likes, this wine is a good value at $15.

2006 Naked Mountain Barrel Fermented Virginia Chardonnay-2

When I purchased this wine, I was drawn to the tasting notes that could not say enough about the butter flavors.  Exactly what I was looking for in the pairing – a buttery Chardonnay to complement the sweet buttery flavors featured in the seafood and sauce.  While the tasting did not reveal as strong a butter profile as promised, the butter flavor was present and complimented the dish nicely.  The fruitiness and well balanced acidity worked exceptionally well with the sweet components of the dish.  The strong oak was the only discord in this otherwise harmonious melody.  The oak lingered too long and began to detract from the principal flavors.  When I prepare this again, I will look for a similarly buttery and fruity Chardonnay with less emphasis on the oak.

Cod Shrimp Bay Scallps in a Butter Garlic Sauce over Linguini


Baked Cod


  • 1 pound cod fillet
  • 1/2 pound linguini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil water and cook linguini while preparing the rest of the recipe.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Cut fillet into two serving sized pieces
  4. Season both sides of the fillet with salt and pepper
  5. Place fillet on aluminum foil large enough to seal in a "tent"
  6. Distribute garlic over length of fillet
  7. Drizzle olive oil evenly over fillet then add the lemon juice.
  8. Fold aluminum foil into an enclosed tent, place on a sheet pan and place in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish just begins to flake when prodded with a fork.

Pan Sautéed Shrimp and Bay Scallops


  • 1/2 pound bay scallops
  • 1/2 pound shrimp with heads on - cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 small lemon freshly squeezed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat butter and olive oil and garlic in heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once butter is melted, add scallops and lemon juice.
  3. After five minutes, add shrimp and season to taste.
  4. Continue to sauté for five minutes turning the scallops and shrimp after 2 1/2 minutes.

To serve over pasta with a garlic butter sauce:


  • Remaining butter/oil/juice from the scallop and shrimp sauté
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Add butter to remaining sauté sauce.
  2. Add all ingredients and melt butter over low heat.
  3. Stir well and drizzle over pasta and seafood.

In vino vertias, buen provecho.


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