Friday, September 24, 2010

TF's Seared Sea Scallops In Beurre Blanc With Baby Spring Vegetables In Puff Pastry

The vinegar in the beurre blanc sauce can be too overwhelming for some. For a more 'universal pallet' beurre blanc, use 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or leave it out entirely.

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into 4 1/2-inch diameter circles
1 egg, lightly beaten
sea salt
1 cup sweet baby peas, frozen or fresh
2 bunches baby carrots, trimmed and peeled with a little stem left on
1 pound sea scallops
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pint chanterelles, halved (or similar wild mushroom if chanterelles aren't available)
1/2 bunch fresh flatleaf parsley

* * * * * * *

Ingredients for the buerre blanc:
2 shallots, sliced
2 cups dry white wine
1 T to 1 cup white wine vinegar
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
2 T freshly chopped chives

Preparing the scallops:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Begin by baking the puff pastry "cups". Lay the thawed puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured, cool surface. Using a 4 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out 4 circles. Set them on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Lightly score the tops of the puff pastry with a 4-inch round cutter. This will help remove the top of the puff pastry after it is cooked, to create a "cup". Beat egg then use a pastry brush to brush the tops. Season with sea salt and place into the preheated oven. Bake in oven for 12 to 15 minutes until golden and crispy. Once cooled, cut the "tops" of the "cups" and lay bases out on plates.

While the "cups" are baking, make the beurre blanc. In a large, clean saucepan add shallots, white wine, white wine vinegar, fresh thyme and bay leaves. Simmer until reduced by half then season well with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Strain the sauce, place back over low heat and reduce. Add the cream and stir. Add butter several cubes at a time while stirring until the sauce thickens. Keep warm and set aside.

Blanch the peas and carrots. Set a pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add carrots first to give them a head start then add the peas briefly to cook the vegetables until tender but still firm - about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Clean scallops and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set a large saute pan over high heat and add olive oil. Once heated, add scallops and cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until well browned. Set aside on paper towels.

Increase the heat and add the chanterelles and saute. Add carrots and peas to the pan and saute for 1 to 2 minutes until heated through. Add the scallops back to the pan, on top of the vegetables, to heat through.

To serve, portion out among the pastry cups. Top with a matching pastry lid - rest it just off center so you can see the filling and garnish with chives and a stem of fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

Serves 4


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