The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

What's on the side? -  Scallops on the Half Shell
with Anise/Lavender chevriére 
and Cream Sherry Reduction
This is Part Two of a Three Part series ~ Classic Sauces with a Twist
If you missed Part One...Cherry-Chocolate Gastrique...Click here
To re-cap on the previous post about reductions...A reduction sauce is quite simply, reducing a liquid to produce a sauce. More specifically a reduction is the process of reducing liquid to intensify it's flavor. So any given ingredients would also be intensified, hence a melding of flavors. So here is where you get creative as  to the content of flavors you are looking to enhance. Meaning,what flavors would you most like to intensify for your dish? Are you wanting a pork roast to have strong hints of citrus and sage? The point is, whatever flavors your are working with will be intensified. There are so many ways to do a reduction sauce, from a vibrant balsamic reduction to a savory gravy. So here again we encourage you to "play with your food".

What you will need:
10 to 12 Jumbo scallops (I used wild caught Japanese)
375 ml or about 1/2 bottle of  cream sherry, or juice
(I think an apple cider would do well here)
Note: keep in mind that alcohol evaporates during reduction,
so start with a lesser amount if using juice or other liquid
Walnut oil and butter for searing
Splash of balsamic, for searing
10-12 teaspoons of soft cheese, one per scallop
(I used the anise/lavender chevriére)
1 small shallot, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
10-12 leaves fresh basil ( per scallop)
10-22 sectioned leaves of radicchio (per scallop)
10-12 shells for serving or other medium
A heavy bottom sauté pan or reduction pan

Plus some snazzy sea shells to present your darlings, or any single type serving display :)

Let's get cooking:
The scallops
For starters, you need to sear your scallops, so get your sauté pan 
nice and hot before adding oil, butter and balsamic.
After the pan has heated about 1 minute, 
add oil and butter, wait until butter has settled.
Add your splash of balsamic, 
now place your scallops out evenly but don't crowd them.
The scallops should take no more than a few minutes per side.
Do not fondle them, they hate it...
When you have achieved a browned crust turn them over.
They are done once they feel just firm
*Reserve your drippings here

Note: Do not over cook scallops

as they will become rubbery and dry
The reduction
Using the same pan that you have prepared your scallops in,
and reserved your drippings from. Remove from flame of heat source.
Please note: when using a liquid with a higher alcohol content, use a low to medium
low heat. If using a juice or lower alcohol content liquid, 
you can use a bit higher heat. 
With the pan that contains your drippings, add garlic and shallots.
Sauté garlic and shallots until opaque. Remove from heat and add cream sherry.
Return pan to heat and bring to a boil at a low medium heat, continue to heat
until your sauce holds to the back of a  spoon , or desired consistency.
Note: Depending on type of pan, you may need to adjust/stir these ingredients
as to prevent scorching. Now for my sauce I wanted a clear or clean sauce. So I stained out the garlic and shallot. This is a matter of preference and the particular dish should be considered here. Simply put...Refined or Rustic? It is a simple matter of how you wish to present your dish. They are equally delightful choices :)
Put it together
OK, now we are ready to present our lovelies...
For each shell, start with your basil leaf, then a radiccho leaf.
Place about 1 teaspoon of your chevriére on top of your leafs.
Now place a scallop on top, then drizzle with your reduction...

A quick side note: Truffle Shuffle does not care for goat cheese,
so he did note that the basil was a bit strong without the cheese. I would
suggest in the case of omitting the cheese that you add something milder...
Such as a red leaf lettuce or add a different soft cheese :) 
The combination of flavors and texture are key here, so add what you like...

Enjoy ~

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