Monday, April 6, 2009

Spotting Dinner - Seared Scallops with Grilled Onion

So far I've taken you on a lovely little bit of food heaven today... A filling egg and bacon breakfast tart, a warming bean and ham stew... I went TasteSpotting again to find something for dinner. I love sea scallops and when I found brooklynfarmhouse's seared scallops with grilled sweet onion I knew that would have to be it! The recipe is for two servings of three scallops each, so for a dinner sized portion you'd probably want to double the recipe itself. The scallops served with a nice salad and some fresh baked bread or rolls would make for a nice rounded meal.

Photo from Brooklyn Farmhouse

Seared Scallops with Grilled Sweet Onion, Red Pepper Coulis, and Arugula Flowers
via Brooklyn Farmhouse


For the red pepper coulis:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, chopped roughly into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt
Cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of your knife
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon heavy cream (optional)
Lemon juice (optional)

For the grilled sweet onion:

1 large sweet white onion (such as Vidalia, Maui, or other sweet variety), sliced into 3/4-inch thick rounds
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the seared scallops:

1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
6 medium sea scallops, adductor muscles removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the garnish:

1/4 cup microgreens
Handful of arugula flowers or other small, edible flower

Special Equipment: Food processor, grill pan


For the red pepper coulis:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small, heavy saucepan. Add the bell pepper, a generous pinch of salt, and a tiny pinch of cayenne. Sweat the pepper (cook without browning) for 3-4 minutes, or until the pepper is slightly soft. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. (Turn down the heat if the pepper or garlic starts to even remotely brown.)
  2. Add the water and turn down the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and cook until the pepper pieces are soft and most of the water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  3. Carefully add the contents of the pot to the food processor and process until smooth. Add the heavy cream and pulse to evenly distribute.
  4. Taste and season with additional salt and a few drops of lemon juice, if necessary.
  5. For a very smooth coulis, force the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids.
  6. Keep the red pepper coulis warm.

For the grilled sweet onion:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
  2. Heat your grill pan (or grill, if you should be so lucky) over high heat.
  3. Season the onion slices generously with salt and pepper. Oil them lightly with the olive oil.
  4. Grill the onions over high heat until grill marks form and the onions have softened, 5-6 minutes per side. Taking care to keep all of the rings intact (you want a solid bed for your scallops), transfer the onion slices to a small baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.

For the seared scallops:

  1. Generously season the scallops with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. In a medium, heavy saute pan, heat the oil over high heat until very hot, but not smoking.
  3. Add the scallops. Sear (without moving) on one side until golden brown, about 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes per side (this will depend on how large your scallops are). Flip the scallops and cook on the second side for another minute.
  4. Remove from heat to a warm plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.

To serve:

  1. Place a warm grilled onion slice on a small plate. Spoon the red pepper coulis around the onion slice (or transfer the coulis to a squeeze bottle and decoratively squeeze the coulis around the onion slice).
  2. Top the onion slice with 3 seared scallops. Top the scallops with a handful of microgreens. Scatter arugula flowers on top of the microgreens.
  3. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Serves 2.

I'm going to have to make this recipe... It's beautiful and seems like it would taste amazing. Or perhaps since my birthday is coming up, someone could perhaps give cooking this for me a try.

Here's to making someone happy and making sure they have a full belly.

- Cait

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