Wednesday, January 09, 2013
This heat and nondescript spritzes of what pass as rain, I wish to escape it.
Lighter meals are now a necessity, not due to holiday over-indulgence, but the inevitable fact that it's proving difficult to spend more than a few songs in the kitchen. Even searing some scallops and browning a knob of butter called for a shower and setting up camp under the air-conditioning afterwards.
Oh, how I miss December.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Avocado Puree, Burnt Butter and Quail Eggs
Inspired by Stephane's stupendously beautiful Scallops and Carrots Three Ways Serves 2.
Note: Once, I saw a 'foodie' friend put up Facebook photos of pale, greyish scallops he ate at a restaurant. When asked why do they look so unappetizing, he said it's better to have it like so than risk rubbery ones. No one can convince me to eat cooked but uncolored scallops, they are just too grave. That said, there is nothing worse than overcooked, leathery scallops. If yours are slightly smaller, cook for about just over 1 minute on each side - err on the side of undercooking, always redeemable.
- 6-8 large scallops, cleaned and dried
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
- 20 grams salted butter
- 3 tablespoons avocado puree, recipe here
- 30 grams salted butter
- 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
- juice of one lemon
- 4 quail eggs, fried
- side of greens dressed to your liking, to serve
- zest of one lemon
- micro herbs or sprouts to garnish
Prepare the avocado puree, fried quail eggs and your choice of side green salad minus the dressing. Set aside.
Pat dry scallops thoroughly, this will give it a good color in the pan. Season each on both side with salt and pepper. In a medium pan, heat the oil until very hot. Sear the scallops until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn them over, cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the 20 grams of butter. Using a spoon, baste the scallops with the foamy butter until glazed, about 1 minute. Set aside on a piece of kitchen paper while you prepare the burnt butter sauce.
Heat the remaining 30 grams of butter in the same pan until foaming. Continue to cook over medium heat till butter is brown. Add in the chili flakes. Take it off the heat and add in the lemon juice.
To serve, smear the serving plate with some avocado puree and arrange the scallops on it. Top with quail eggs. Spoon over some of the burnt butter sauce; serve the remaining on the side. Dress and arrange the greens. Garnish with herbs, sprouts and lemon zest.
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