Scallops with Vanilla Jus, Basil Potato Purée and Leeks By: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley and Ludwig Ratzinger Food & Drink, LCBO Seared tender scallops radiate the fragrance of the sea, which blends amazingly well with a touch of vanilla’s perfume, basil-scented mashed potatoes and mild leeks. Potatoes 3 to 4 medium russet potatoes 1 tsp (5 mL) coarse salt ¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil 2 tbsp (25 mL) crème fraîche or sour cream Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 small bunch basil, chopped about ½ cup (125 mL) Leeks 2 to 3 leeks 2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter 3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable broth Scallops 2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar ¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter ⅔ cup (150 mL) vegetable broth ¼ cup (50 mL) balsamic vinegar ¼ tsp (1 mL) sea salt ¼ vanilla bean or ½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla 16 large scallops 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 25 mL) olive oil 1. Peel potatoes; cover with water in a medium saucepan; add salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover and reduce heat so water boils gently for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserts easily into potato. Drain, mash and stir in oil and crème fraîche. Taste and add pinches of salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in basil; cover and keep warm. 2. Meanwhile, clean and thickly slice white and light green portions of leeks; lightly packed there should be 5 to 6 cups (1.25 to 1.5 L). Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add leeks. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until bright green. Pour in broth, reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until leeks are tender. Cover and keep warm. 3. Heat a medium stainless-steel frying pan over medium heat until quite hot. Quickly scatter sugar; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is caramelized; add butter. Cook 1 minute or until butter is browned. Stir in broth, vinegar and salt to deglaze pan; add split vanilla bean (but not extract). Boil gently, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until reduced by half and slightly syrupy. Remove from heat, stir in extract if using and set aside. (Sauce will break if refrigerated.) 4. Meanwhile, dry scallops very well with paper towels. Heat a generous amount of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When very hot, add scallops; do not disturb for at least 1 minute. Then peek at underside; keep sautéing without moving for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned; then flip. Repeat with second side; do not overcook. 5. Arrange 4 scallops, basil potatoes and leeks on each warm serving plate. Drizzle scallops with most of jus, but also spoon some over potatoes and leeks. Serve right away. Serves 4Have a great day
Monday, February 1, 2010
Young Adventurers, Horse Meat,
I have been enjoying reading the blogs from the two 16 yr olds sailing around the world, I do hope some of you have been following them. Sadly Abby, the American girl sailing Wild Eyes, has to put in for some repairs to her energy supplies, she is going in to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. However, she says she will make that her new starting place. Meanwhile Jessica, sailing Ella's Pink Lady, is 2,000 nautical miles from the Cape of Good Hope at the bottom of Africa. She had a pretty rough passage round South America at Cape Horn, hopefully she will do better at the bottom of Africa. However, the southern Atlantic has never been known for its friendly climes. Tickles me, I am pleased to get one comment on my blog, those two girls get hundreds and have over 1,000 followers each.
Talking to Marilyn of French Marilyn's Blog (see link this page) about killing the wild horses and she commented on the French killing horses for meat. I haven't had horse meat in years, but it is excellent meat. I remember a French friend's mother asking if I liked horse meat, I replied I had never eaten it, she said that was what I had had for supper last night. I was astounded, I had thought it was one of the best fillet steaks I had ever eaten. Good stuff. I doubt that the meat of the wild horses, if they slaughter them, will be edible though. I honestly don't see any difference between using cows for meat or using horses although I know a lot of people are squeamish about it. I really don't understand why.By the way, my Snowball Chocolate Cake was pretty good, but very big. They said 16 servings, and even I tend to agree if not 16, certainly 14. I think we will be eating it for a while. We gave some away, but I hope the rest will keep OK. This is the slice I ate last night. One thing I was a bit disappointed with, there wasn't a lot of difference between the cheese filling in the middle and the frosting on the outside. It was still good though. The cake itself is very rich and quite moist. But then I believe packet cakes usually are. I don't think it will be the last time I use one. We picked up a copy of Food and Drink when we were at the LCBO (liquor store) the other day. We missed out on the holiday one at the end of last year. There is a scallop recipe which I might have a go at. Then I went on line and searched their recipes and found this one which I thought sounded pretty good. I don't know about you, but I love scallops - one of the things I miss about North Carolina where I would buy a gallon of bay scallops and freeze them in portion sizes. In fact in this area, a local fish monger told me that the best way to buy decent scallops is to buy the frozen ones.