sea scallops with cauliflower puree and granny smith sauce

October 17th, 2008 · 26 Comments

yes yes, scallops again. and again and again. have i mentioned how we love them over here? and have you seen the scallops that have been available lately? i’m not sure i even want to know how exactly it is that they are getting so huge, but i bought one yesterday that was like a small tenderloin, weighing in at 5.5 ounces.

but hey, i like them big because then it is ever so easy to sear the wholly hell out of them and still have them be good and rare in the middle. because that right there is what it’s all about in the world of scallop cooking. achieving the perfect crusty deep golden exterior that is basically pure umami – while not rendering the meat inside to a hard puck-like substance.

this dish was totally ripped off from a local restaurant here in town called 360 bistro. chef john david crow makes a dish like this that i absolutely love and so i decided to try my hand at replicating my last dinner there – or at the very least, come close. chef crow is a friend and i almost called him to get some pointers, but then i just got to cooking and well, i am telling you – 20 minutes from start to finish and we were eating a damn fine plate of food. which is once again proof positive that cooking does not have to be a long, drawn out laborious process. this was truly quick and painless with a huge payoff.

both the apple and the cauliflower were roughly chopped and thrown into separate pans with some water, covered and left to steam about 10 minutes. the cauliflower was then thrown into the food processor minced garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. while it pureed i drizzled in about 1/4 cup of my best olive oil. when i stopped the processor and spooned a bit of the cauliflower into my mouth i smiled. it was absolutely exquisite. dear readers, mashed potatoes have nothing on this. i am telling you. trust me. i care about you. all of you. this cauliflower puree? a winner… and yes, go butter or cream it up if you feel you must, but after this, i was giving the ol’ arteries a break. and really, a very good buttery spanish olive fit the bill wonderfully.

by this time the apple was soft and it got thrown into the chinoise sans water, and strained down to a very fine consistency. the sauce then went back on the stove to reduce down a bit more with some sugar and a pinch of salt.

the scallops got a good deep sear and were plated atop the cauliflower and then drizzled with the apple reduction. the parsley was ‘just because’ it was a rather drab and colorless dish – but regardless of its pallor, i am telling you… this was phenomenal. and on the healthy scale it ranked pretty high.

except we ate the entire head of cauliflower. the 2 of us. and as good as it was in the moment, it was A LOT of food.

an aside: i went through a raw phase once where nearly eveything got pureed. nuts, seeds and vegetables make delicious pates but the quantities get skewed when it’s all in a slice or a ball. i’d make chocolate cakes with nothing but nuts, avocado, coconut oil, agave and raw cocoa powder and the fat/calorie count was high as a kite. also raw macadamias are dangerously good when pureed with nothing but salt and onion…

the scallop thing? we’ve got it bad. and being the versatile little buggers that they are, it’s fun to dress them up according to what’s happening in your refrigerator, the season, or just your mood…

scallops, it’s what’s for dinner…


Tags: local · restaurants · seafood · vegetables

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