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 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.
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.
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