Tuesday, July 30, 2013

pan seared scallops with raisin caper sauce and cauliflower puree

My summer of seafood continues. This past dinner at Tate's Kitchen featured these buttery, pan seared scallops served on a bed of roasted cauliflower puree with a golden raisin and caper sauce.

Yikes that is quite the mouthful when I say all of it out loud. 
Anyway, I got this idea from a very late night episode of Iron Chef - very late. One of the chefs made a cauliflower puree and this sauce and served both over some sort of fish. I knew I wanted to make scallops for the next dinner so I figured this would be a fun experiment! Yes, a rather pricey experiment, but why not right? Let's try something new!
Totally worth it!
I hope you can give it a go.

roasted cauliflower puree
raisin caper sauce
fresh parsley for garnish

roasted cauliflower puree
Here's the link since I've posted this before - but I'll do a quick review below.

1 head of cauliflower - washed and broken apart
1 red onion - very large chop
5 cloves of garlic - sliced
fresh thyme
pecorino cheese - grated - you will need about 1/2 a cup
(you could also use Parmesan - but I actually prefer Pecorino)
1 cup milk or heavy cream
olive oil

oven to 425

chop everything and spread out on a baking sheet.
drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.
toss in 4 or 5 thyme sprigs.
into the oven for about 20 minutes.
remove - carefully toss all this and add the cheese.
back into the oven about 15 minutes - or just until the vegetables are tender.
let cool.
when ready - add all the cauliflower, a couple chunks of onion and 2 large garlic slices to the food processor.
pulse 5 or 6 times.
add 1/2 cup of the milk or cream.
pulse a few more times and see if you like the consistency.
add more cream as needed.
add salt and pepper as needed.

golden raisin and caper sauce - 
1/4 cup golden raisins (do not use regular raisins - only golden raisins)
1/4 cup capers - rinsed
2 tablespoons water

all of this goes into a small saucepan.
bring to a gentle simmer.
once it is simmering let it cook just until the raisins are plump.
let cool.
dump all of it into the food processor.
pulse until you are happy with the consistency.
add a few turns of salt and several turns of pepper.
set aside.

scallops - 
couple things about this...
- I don't think it should be done in a non-stick pan - you just do not get the same crispy caramelization thing happening as you do when using a regular ol stainless steel pan 
(in my personal opinion) (and what a horrible sentence)
- Everything else needs to be done and pretty much ready to serve before you do scallops. They are definitely a cook and serve immediately type item.
- Do not add too much butter and oil to the pan - again, you will not get the crispy browned sides. They are still tasty but they are now poached instead of seared (another horrible sentence...sorry) I only add a pat of butter then a tablespoon or so of oil and just add more butter and oil as needed.

okay.....the scallops...
gently pat them dry.
salt and pepper both sides.
sprinkle a scant amount of sugar on them as well - sugar helps with the whole 'crispy caramel outside edge' thing

in a saucepan heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil until bubbly and browned.
sugared side first - gently lay the scallops in the pan - no one should be touching.
if you purchased the large scallops they will be ready to flip in two or three minutes - as soon as you see a lovely caramel color forming around the edges.
flip and cook the second side - adding a little more butter if needed.

little cauliflower puree on the plate.
the scallops next.
drizzle with the raisin caper sauce.
garnish with some fresh parsley and a lemon wedge if desired.
serve immediately.

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