Ice, Ice…

Don’t worry. I’m not going there (think 1989 really bad song). I won’t do that to you. Especially because I’m still trying to get the Spice Girls out of my head.

Instead I’ll just tell you how much we love Canada’s ice wines. Mike and I enjoyed our first ice wine in Ontario in 2007. Since then we also drank a wonderful German Eiswein and even found a few ice wines from Michigan that we enjoyed.

So we were excited to try some new ice wines this summer in the Niagara region, and they didn’t disappoint. In fact, I’d say they have even improved the overall quality of the ice wines in the past few years. One of our favorites we came across this year was a Cabernet Franc ice wine from Jackson Triggs. It was so balanced and smooth and had such wonderful flavors. Truly about as close to perfection as you can get with an ice wine in our opinion.

That’s why when we were planning our Ontario meals we knew we had to incorporate some Canadian Ice Syrup. Ice Syrup is derived from the same frozen grapes used for ice wine and which are harvested and pressed while still frozen.

We came across some utterly mouth-watering recipes for using the ice syrup and already have our wheels spinning for other delicious options – perhaps incorporating some figs which I think would be amazing with this stuff. I mean seriously there are so many options from appetizers to desserts that I can hardly stand it, but we have to start somewhere. So for tonight we’re going with a recipe adapted from the Ice Syrup website, which we’re calling Iced Scallops.

We started by mixing together a few tablespoons of the ice syrup with a few tablespoons of rice vinegar.

Miss A was on hand to do the mixing and taste testing. So far she’s satisfied.

And don’t worry, this stuff is non-alcoholic. 😉 We then also added about half of a diced shallot to the syrup and set the mixture aside. Next we turned our attention to the scallops.

We coated a large skillet with olive oil, seasoned the scallops with a little sea salt and cooked them for about 3 minutes giving the pan a little shake every 30 seconds or so. We then flipped the scallops and cooked them for an additional 2 minutes.

In the meantime, Mr. N took care of crushing some pink salt for us. It’s hammer time (again, I’ll spare you the music video)!

He did a nice job didn’t he! And you can bet Miss A was super excited about pink salt. She kept reminding us that she needed some of that with her dinner, and she was going to let us forget it.

After the scallops were cooked through, we topped each with some of the shallots that had been reserved in the syrup, seasoned with the pink salt and of course drizzled them with the ice syrup. We served the scallops with a summer squash risotto (Thanks again to Mike!) and lemon wedges.

This has to be one of the most gourmet meals we’ve made on this adventure, and it was absolutely exquisite. I’m hesitant to say it was our best meal, but it’s got to be up there. The syrup was divine with the scallops and the shallots provided sweet, crunchy little bites. It certainly earned 4 spoons from Mike and I.

Even the kids enjoyed this meal. Miss A ate her scallop and asked for another which makes this a 4 spoon rating for her. Mr. N wasn’t quite as sold on the scallops, but he ate each and every little shallot on his plate. This is the same Mr. N that normally picks any piece of onion or shallot out of anything and everything in which he finds it, including pasta sauces and chili. But even though he lapped up the shallots and syrup, he ends up our lone dissenter on this dish and came in with a 2 spoon vote. (Not to worry though, he really enjoyed the risotto which was yet another shock to us.)

So here’s to Canada…and its ice grapes! Oh and another cute little story to reaffirm that Mr. N is in fact a Canadian at heart, this afternoon as he was getting out of the car he came across a Canadian dollar on the floor of the backseat. He then took off running into his Grandma and Grandpa’s house yelling, “I found a dollar from Canada! I found a dollar from Canada! That means I’m extra lucky!” I have to disagree with ya here though buddy…I’m the one that’s lucky.

Print this recipe: Iced Scallops

47 thoughts on “Ice, Ice…

    • Kristy says:

      A good ice wine is definitely worth trying sometime. It’s a dessert wine and wonderful for sipping. The ice syrup is made from the same grapes, but non-alcoholic. It’s really very sweet, so it doesn’t take much!

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  1. Karen says:

    What a delicious looking meal. I love ice wine. We usually have it as an after dinner drink when we are traveling in Europe. The ice syrup must have made the scallops really great tasting.

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    • Kristy says:

      The syrup was phenomenal over the scallops and worked really well with the rice vinegar. We love a good ice wine too. One of these days we’ll get over to Europe to try some. 🙂

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    • Kristy says:

      Thanks so much! It’s so fun to have the kids help us out in the kitchen and I think they enjoy it too. Sometimes I overhear them playing kitchen with each other in their playroom. 🙂

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  2. A_Boleyn says:

    Scallops, ice wine …. everything looks SO gourmet and delicious. I’ve put on 10 pounds this summer that I had lost 2 yrs ago so I have to watch my over-indulgence as it puts too much of a strain on my twice replaced hip, but it’s hard.

    Incidentally, I live in south-western Ontario, a short (1 hr 15 min) drive from Point Pelee and the ice wineries there. Some years ago, my brother (a chocolatier in his spare time) was commissioned to make truffles using ice wine for a promotional event and I believe he ended up using the ice wine syrup to get a concentrated flavour in the filling. They were delicious. 🙂

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    • Kristy says:

      Oh how fun that your brother is a chocolatier in his spare time! I’m not a big fan of chocolate, but it would be so much fun to make! And I can only imagine how good it is with the ice syrup mixed in!

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  3. smartfoodandfit says:

    I agree with Kay and thought of Vanilla Ice Song, “stop, collaborate, and listen…..” Now I have that song in my head thinking back to when I was in high school! lol
    Seriously this recipe looks delicious enough for my boys to eat. My oldest and youngest will eat it no problem, but I think my 5 year old will give it a try. It’s been awhile since I’ve had ice wine but remember I enjoyed it’s unique sweetness balanced out by it’s high acidity, brings me back to my wine tasting class I had a few years back!
    Miss A is so cute, my boys think that Himalayan salt is cool too and wondered if it comes in blue!

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    • Kristy says:

      LOL! That’s the exact song I had in my mind. I just try not to get it stuck there. Your youngest must might like this…Miss A sure did. I’m pretty sure it was the syrup that sold her on the scallops. Otherwise, she’s not much of a fish eater. Now a wine tasting class sounds like a lot of fun!!!

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  4. Eva Taylor says:

    I love this recipe, although I find ice wine a little sweet and a lot expensive; a good and slightly less expensive dessert wine is a late harvest Vidal…hope you get a chance to try it. Just as an aside, you can get a beautiful caramelized crust on the scallop by drying them off really well before popping them into the hot pan (and never cover, it puts too much steam back in the pan, preventing the caramelization!)

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    • A_Boleyn says:

      Your scallop cooking method is the one I use as well. Do you like to leave the scallops a little raw in the middle? I had some very thick (U10/15) scallops a while back and ended up leaving the centers uncooked as I didn’t want to burn the outside, nor did I think to throw them in the oven to finish off. I thought they were quite tasty that way though I’ve also wrapped them in par-cooked bacon and broiled them.

      Scallops are yum!

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      • Eva Taylor says:

        Raw scallops are totally fine if you are certain that they are fresh, which I’m sure you do. I live the sweetness and slightly brininess of a scallop!

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    • Kristy says:

      Oh I agree – it can be very expensive! It’s definitely a special treat. We too enjoy the late harvest Vidal as well as the late harvest Riesling. Wonderful stuff! Thank you for the tip on the scallops. I figured that was probably the case as the water seemed to take over the pan about halfway through, but I didn’t feel like worrying about it at that point. Next time for sure!! 🙂

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  5. ChgoJohn says:

    Your scallop recipe looks and sounds delicious and I marvel at how you’ve got your kids “working” in the kitchen. What a lesson they’re getting! On a more personal note, I’m a transplanted Michigander and I’d never heard of ice wine or ice syrup. I’m definitely going to check them both out. Thanks for the lesson.

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    • Kristy says:

      Sure thing! We found so many wonderful wines, including the ice wine, up in the Traverse City area. There were so many great wineries up there – makes for a great weekend getaway! As for the kids, they’re a hoot. Most days they love getting in the kitchen with us and they’re easily some of my favorite times as well. 🙂

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  6. spicegirlfla says:

    Ice Syrup? I’ve definitely learned of something new here and can’t wait to look for this locally. I’ve not had ice wine in a long time, so I was instantly excited to read this. The presentation of the scallops are so pretty and pink and I can just imagine they taste tender and flavorful!

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    • Kristy says:

      I think the only way to get ice wine is in Canada or online. I haven’t seen it locally (around here anyway). If you can find it though – it’s wonderful! We’ve used it in several different dishes now. 🙂 The pink presentation was definitely a hit with Miss A as well. 😉

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  7. kitchenbelleicious says:

    Love me some wine but never had Ice wine before? It sounds so delicious and intriguing. I love that you used it with the scallops. I might not know how the ice wine tastes but I know that anything cooked with good wine turns out fantastic!

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    • A_Boleyn says:

      Ice wine is so sweet that it usually accompanies desserts and you have to make sure the dessert is less sweet than the ice wine. A plain New York style cheesecake would be fantastic, I think.

      It can also be served with fresh fruit and soft young cheeses or pates and fois gras according to winery information I’ve run across.

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    • Kristy says:

      The ice wine is a very sweet dessert style wine. I’d recommend trying it as a tasting at different wineries. It can be very pricey and some are better than others. It’s better to do the tastings so that you don’t end up spending a lot on a bottle you end up disliking.

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  8. sallybr says:

    Loved the ice! Anne Burrel on FoodTV had a recipe for raw oysters with a Proseco granita on top, I was drooling just imagining the flavor, and now you do this magic with scallops, one of my favorite foods!

    lovely recipe!

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  9. Kelly says:

    I was thinking of Oh Mighty Isis, Isis…. do you remember that show about the Egyptian Goddess?? Yikes, we’re going waaaay back here; my brother and I used to watch it as kids.

    Ice wine is delicious, isn’t it? But I have not tried (or heard of) ice syrup… how intriguing and yummy sounding… AND, I will tell you straight up that scallops are my favourite sea food, so this recipe is thrilling me! I have a feeling I would just adore it. The pink sea salt is so great – and Mike’s squash risotto… wow! Your son is too cute… can I adopt him? 🙂 And it’s about his new profile shot on your blog. Have you ever seen such a handsome mug? (my heart…)

    Great post guys! Looks like you were treated to good weather too – love the pic of the vineyard.

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    • Kristy says:

      The weather in Ontario, and actually the whole trip, was amazing. It worked out really well because we missed some extreme heat and torrential rains at home while we were away! Mr. N is definitely adorable, if I say so myself. He’s my little sweetheart. Honestly Kelly his laugh is just to die for…I don’t think there’s a happier sound on earth. And to be fair – Miss A is my little beauty. 😉 Her sense of adventure is just contagious. As for the scallops…if you can find some ice syrup up there it’s a beautiful thing! I’ve read that maple syrup can be used as a substitute, but I just can’t imagine that it’s nearly as good.

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    • ChefDad says:

      Not every evening, but at least a couple times a week these days! This one was a good one, and on a random Wednesday no less. It’s fun sometimes to watch the kids pick at their food and hope they don’t like it so you can eat what they don’t–this was definitely one of those meals.

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  10. Charles says:

    You know, I have to admit something – I don’t like scallops! I thought I liked pretty much everything except tripe but actually I remembered that scallops are really dislike. I *want* to like them. They’re so damn “gourmet” but they’re unpleasantly fishy and the texture is all funky, BUT – I have to say your dish is making me feel a little hungry right now. It looks wonderful… good enough to eat… almost! Maybe I should try and give scallops another try… I’ve never cooked with them at home before and who knows…? Maybe I just always had funky ones from restaurants! I’ve never heard of ice syrup – looks very interesting 🙂

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    • Kristy says:

      I completely get what you’re saying. For me it totally depends on how the scallops are cooked and served. I’ve had some that nearly turned me off to scallops forever and others that were delicious. Fortunately these won me over. If you’ve had a German Eiswein just imagine the syrup a bit thicker in consistency but with a very similar flavor. Yummm!

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  11. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    You know what I was actually thinking.. I was thinking Vanilla Ice version of “Ice Ice Baby”.. not the Spice Girls LOL. Don’t ask lol. The Ice Syrup looks divine on those scallops. I constantly look for new ways to make scallops and I think I found new flavors to experiment with. And that risotto, Mike put his foot in that one lol. Love this. You guys are such a wonderful family and I enjoy reading your stories every day.

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    • Kristy says:

      I was thinking of the same song…just didn’t want it stuck in my head. LOL! And I’m telling you – if I could get Mike to make risotto for me every night I’d be in heaven. It’s so darn good and you can make it in so many different ways. He did a great job with this one too! 🙂 Thanks as always Kay!

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