I am still reeling about the ban on foie gras in California. It is THE stupidest law in this state. There was an article in the L.A. Times this morning discussing the reaction of the French. Since foie gras is their invention and something that they treasure culturally, they are more than just confused by this wacky American move. Understandably, they do not understand how a country that still has the death penalty can outlaw a food because of supposed cruelty to animals.
Their concern isn’t so much that California will not buy their foie gras (France does not export it to the U.S.) but that this crazy notion might cross the pond and start popping up a little closer to home. I think that there is no chance that the French themselves will ever outlaw it, but it could certainly happen in other European countries. There are a few French that are suggesting a boycott of California wine. This would not have much of a consequence on the California wine business as nearly every french person has their own vineyard and many are still moaning about the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. California wine is not exactly flooding the streets of the Left Bank.
It does point out once again what a completely ridiculous law that has been foisted upon those of us who still live in the land of fruits and nuts. If you are a fellow Californian and just can’t take it any longer, there is a restaurant in the Persidio in San Francisco that serves foie gras. It turns out that the federal land of the Persidio is not subject to California law, moronic or otherwise.
- 4 Large Scallops (really fresh)
- 1/2 Cup Really Young Olive Oil
- Course Sea Salt
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Orange
- Whole Pink Peppercorns
- Fresh Mint
- 1 Drop Chili Oil (optional)
- Sharp Knife
- Hand Juicer
- Mixing Bowl
- Wash and pat dry the scallops. When in season (November-April) diver scallops are the best. They are hand picked by divers off of sea walls. They tend to be fresher, plumper and less sandy than there dredged brethren.
- Slice lengthwise into thin (ish) pieces. You should get 2-4 pieces from each scallop, depending on their thickness.
- In a mixing bowl, squeeze the juice of the orange and 1/2 of a lemon. I use meyer lemon because I have a gracious neighbor with a tree.
- Add olive oil, a drop of chili oil and a twist of salt and pepper.
- Drop the scallop pieces in the marinade and let chill for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the scallops and arrange on plates.
- Pour the marinade evenly over all plates.
- Garnish with a few pink peppercorns and a couple mint leaves.