potato-zucchini cake with pan seared scallops and white truffle oil

November 4th, 2007 · 12 Comments


we love scallops.  and i love truffled anything.  so i was wondering if the two could hang together in the same way that ‘fennel pollen and pork‘ seem to do so well.  the answer, i am happy to say is a big, luscious mouthful of yesssss.

whole foods‘ had the most beautiful scallops i’d seen in awhile.  huge as in 8 to a lb., and fresh to boot.  all in all, my kind of scallops as due to the sheer size it’s nearly impossible to overcook them while trying to get that somewhat evasive carmelization thing going on.  5 months ago my quest for browning scallops led me to google this culinary challenge which brought me to this post – which was the first blog i ever saw.  ever.  in my life.  i think.  but i do know for certain that it was definitely the moment that the whole blogging concept got through to me.  somehow the blogosphere had escaped me and just how this was even remotely possible with all the time i spend online, well how this happened i will truly never understand.

but here we are…

so i decided to base our dinner on this recipe from the italian culinary center in nyc.  i pinched a few potatoes from a friend, grabbed a couple of my csa zucchinis, substituted shallots for the red onion and found the shredder attachment to my food processor.  gone are the days of scraping knuckles - 1 minute and your potatoes, zucchini and shallots are perfectly grated.  so allow me right here and now to send a shout-out to electricity and small kitchen appliances!  woo-hooo and god bless ’em.  seriously.  i live more grateful everyday…

all i added to the three vegetables was some flour, salt and pepper and then i pan fried the cakes in olive oil until they were golden.  then they were baked until done – about 10 minutes on 400.


the scallops got dropped into a very hot saute pan with some olive oil for about 2 minutes per side.  i removed the scallops from the pan and added a cup of white wine to deglaze along with a knob of vermont butter and cheese cultured butter.  i cooked the wine down to a bit less than half and then we were ready to plate. 

first, a couple of the cakes, then a few scallops, next some sauce got poured on top – and finally that drizzle of white truffle oil.


i wish i’d have remembered that there was parsley in the fridge - if only for your sake.

Tags: potatoes · seafood

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan // Nov 5, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Just finished reading Steingarten’s vignette on trufulao and white truffles in the Langhe in Italy. Perfect time to read your recipe too. Looks amazing (parsley or not).

    I’m a little curious about no egg binder for the veg. Although, if your processor is like mine, and you didn’t strain the veg, there was enough liquid to combine with the flour and bind it.

  • 2 Amy // Nov 5, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Mmm. Mmmm. MMMMM! You weren’t kidding — this IS a masterpiece.

    I’ve always been nervous about trying to make vegetable cakes/latkes, being convinced they’d fall apart on me in the pan when I tried flipping them. Did you have any trouble at all with them?

  • 3 alec // Nov 5, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    This looks AWESOME! I love this idea. Love it. Gotta make this one ASAP.

  • 4 Klinde // Nov 5, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Have mercy on me! Especially after the horrible roast beast (not a typo) sandwich I suffered through at lunch today.

  • 5 claudia // Nov 5, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    dan – i haven’t read any of his stuff yet. but his books are on my list. who has time to read or watch movies when you food blog??? i’ve got to get off this computer…

    amy – i thought the same thing and proceded with caution but they stayed together very well, even with some man handling. the fry/then bake thing worked well. no no – i was kidding about the masterpiece bigtime…

    alec – ok – you make them and i’ll be watching YOU. please report back. ok?

    klinde – roast beast. yikes. well i offered to cook for you and i’ll never let you forget it! but fyi – come sunday i am ON THE WAGON or i will kill myself. i will be officially off food for awhile which will be interesting for a gal like me who does nothing but talk food. like forever.

  • 6 TaratheFoodie // Nov 5, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    I LOVE scallops and this looks so good because I also love zucchini cakes. Oh yeah, I’ll be giving this one a try for sure! I’ll probably ask my boyfriend to cook the scallop part of it – he’s the best at browning them just right!

  • 7 cookiecrumb // Nov 5, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Hey! You got your periods!

  • 8 claudia // Nov 5, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    cookie – that’s hilarious. but i axed em. just didn’t feel right. a fellow blogger is helping me with a new header – so in the meantime i’m just playin’…

    tara – scallop browning is an art. what’s his technique?

  • 9 melissa // Nov 7, 2007 at 1:57 am

    I totally need to make these – I have been craving scallops!

  • 10 Butta Buns // Nov 8, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I’m with you on loving the food processor. But I also feel that one must bleed a bit from the knuckles as a rite of passage.

    Damn, this looks good! I’ll have to see if their scallops are as big as yours. Man am I going to be pissed if they don’t.

  • 11 Butta Buns // Nov 8, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I’m with you on loving the food processor. But I also feel that one must bleed a bit from the knuckles as a rite of passage.

    Damn, this looks good! The bus ride home drops me off in front of a Whole Foods. I’ll have to see if their scallops are as big as yours. Man am I going to be pissed if they don’t.

  • 12 claudia // Nov 8, 2007 at 11:33 am

    awww – butta! you liked it s much you told me twice !!!!


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