RUN FOR THE ROSES: MINT JULEP SCALLOPS
The Kentucky Derby is known around the world for many things – the anticipation of the race, the records waiting to be broken, and the spirited attendees – but perhaps more than anything the Derby is known for several longstanding traditions that make the Kentucky Derby what is has become today.
Every year the Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. Pegged as the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” the race itself is only one aspect of the Derby festivities.
The traditions run deep at Kentucky Derby and play a large part in setting the race apart from other sporting events. From smaller things, like the blanket of 554 red roses presented to the race’s winner, to the Royal Court, which crowns a Derby Princess and Queen selected from young ladies enrolled at Kentucky universities, all of the event s of the Derby lend to the atmosphere of excitement and exuberance.
Perhaps the most recognized Kentucky Derby tradition is the over-the-top hats worn by women spectators. Part Southern tradition, part spectacle, the festive hats range from classic to extravagant and are adorned with everything from ribbons and beads to feathers and flowers, with some even sporting good luck charms and miniature horses.
What would a sporting event be without the refreshments? A popular dish served at the Kentucky Derby is burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables, which is served at many festivals and social events in the South and Midwest. Perhaps the most famous refreshment served at the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and sugar syrup. Hot dogs are to baseball what the mint julep is to the Kentucky Derby. You simply cannot go to the Derby and not try this historic drink. Each year almost 120,000 juleps are served at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby and events leading up to the race. Virtually all of the drinks are served in specially made Kentucky Derby collectible glasses which are printed with all previous Derby winners.
Obviously, you don’t need to go to the Kentucky Derby to enjoy a mint julep, a drink that is appreciated in the South as a refreshing summer cocktail. Dacor chef Brian Malarkey has turned the mint julep into a flavorful and unique dish by combining the traditional ingredients with scallops and blackberries. Whether you’re into the thrill of the races, the fashion, or the food, the Kentucky Derby offers something for everyone. Give this recipe a try and taste what the excitement is all about.
Mint Julep Scallops
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 1 Serving (2 if served as appetizer)
- 1 tsp cooking oil (Canola)
- 4 each scallops, large - cleaned
- 1 tblsp Makers Mark
- 1/2 pint blackberries
- 1/4 stick butter
- 5 each mint leaves - sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine and use for the seasoning scallops:
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tblsp mixed peppercorns - ground
In a medium sized sauté pan add the cooking oil and bring it up to a high temperature.
Add the seasoned scallops and once they have caramelized on one side flip them and continue cooking until crispy golden brown on both sides.
Deglaze with the Makers Mark and step back while the alcohol burns off.
Slowly stir in the butter. When the butter has melted almost entirely add the mint and blackberries. Let the flavors melt together another minute, then remove from heat.
Garnish with a spring of fresh mint and serve. Enjoy!
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