Day Boat Scallops with Grapefruit, Marcona Almonds & Brown Butter

This was the second course to my 6-course Friendsgiving party for 3 people.

Serves 3.

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[100% organic, wild caught scallops USA]

  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 9 pieces wild sea scallops
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil, as needed
  • ¼ cup Marcona almonds, toasted and chopped
  • Chives, cut, for garnish
  • Mint leaves, cut, for garnish
  • Sunflower sprouts, for garnish

Segment grapefruit into suprêmes (use paring knife to remove peel and slice segments away from pith) over a bowl to catch juices. Squeeze fruit into bowl to extract remaining juice. Using a strainer, separate segments and juice. Set aside both.

Clean scallops by removing abductor muscle from each one. Pat very dry.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops generously with salt and pepper. Add neutral oil to the pan and sear scallops until golden-brown. Flip and add butter to pan. Tilt pan, and spoon butter over scallops as they cook. When scallops look like they just have a raw line in its center, remove quickly.

Allow the butter to continue cooking until browned and nutty, then add reserved grapefruit juice. Pour sauce over scallops. Garnish with almonds, chives, mint leaves, and sunflower sprouts.

Scallop Crudo with Shichimi, Shimeji, Haricots Verts Salad & Fennel Foam

This was the first course to my 5-course Friendsgiving party for 6 people. Originally, I had another course before this but I cut it once I realized that the duck confit would take too much of my time and I didn’t want to overwhelm myself.

Serves 6.

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[100% organic, wild scallops]

For the Fennel Foam

  • 2 large fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • Bouquet garni: white peppercorns, 1 garlic clove, fennel fronds
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream

In a pan, sweat the onion, fennel, and bouquet garni with vegetable oil. Once the vegetables have soften, deglaze with white wine. Reduce until au sec, then add the cream and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour mixture into a blender and blend well. Do not strain. Pour purée into a whip cream dispenser and charge twice. Keep warm.

For the Salad

  • 2 packets brown shimeji mushrooms
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1 bunch cilantro, picked
  • 1 cup neutral oil

Cut base off of mushrooms (save for stock making) and cut off ends of green beans. Blanch in salted water then shock in iced water.

In a blender, blend on high the cilantro leaves and oil. Blend until the oil is warm, then strain through a fine mesh strainer or through cheesecloth/coffee filters. Reserve oil into a squeeze bottle.

For the Finish

  • 18 diver scallops, soaked in salted cold water, drained, then sliced
  • Shimichi Togarashi
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Cilantro oil (from above)
  • Micro cilantro
  • Fennel fronds (if saved, and I forgot to use it)
  • Sea salt/Maldon salt
  • Lemon

TO ASSEMBLE

In a bowl, lightly toss blanched mushrooms and green beans with cilantro oil,  lemon juice, and salt. Slice scallops into thin rounds.

On the plate:

  1. Season mushrooms and green beans with lemon, cilantro oil, and salt. Arrange salad.
  2. Place scallops on plate, season scallops with crushed sea salt, lemon, and togarashi.
  3. Squeeze an odd number of fennel foam dots.
  4. Garnish with micro cilantro, pomegranate seeds, fennel fronds, and more cilantro oil.

Seared Scallops, Edamame Purée & Cumin Froth

This was the first course to my 7-course Friendsgiving party for 8 people.

A few weeks after I made the first draft, I realized that I didn’t have any seafood dishes so that’s how this dish came to be.

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Serves 8.

For the Edamame Purée

  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 TBS of grapeseed oil
  • 1 lb frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Salt

Sweat the shallots in the oil. Add the edamame, milk, and pinch of salt and simmer for 10 minutes.

Before pouring into a blender, strain off excess milk but save the milk. Blend until smooth, add enough saved milk to make a thick purée. After blending, cool immediately over an ice bath. The bright green color will fade very quickly if not cooled down as soon as possible. Store in a container in the fridge before the finish.

For the Cumin Froth

  • 4 TBS crème fraîche
  • ½ cup dashi
  • 2.5 g cumin seeds
  • 2.5 g soy lecithin

Combine all ingredients into a blender for 1 minute. Then pour into a small pot and heat gently. Too hot or cold in temperature and the foam won’t be stable and will collapse easily. Using an immersion blender or a hand blender fitted with an aerator, foam up the mix then let it rest for a minute before serving.

For the Scallops

  • 8 scallops
  • Olive oil
  • Butter, as needed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Clean your scallops and pat dry. Salt and pepper the scallops on both sides. In a very hot pan with a little oil, sauté the scallops for about 2 minutes per side.

TO ASSEMBLE

In a pan, melt 1 TBS butter then gently heat up edamame purée. Adjust seasoning if needed. Spoon purée into the center of the plate, add a seared scallop, and lastly, spoon the froth around to finish and serve immediately!

Squid Ink Risotto with Seared Sea Scallops, Calamari & Cherrystone Clams, Pistachio Cilantro Quenelle, and a Saffron Dashi Velouté

This dish totally didn’t turn out the way that I had planned but as Tim Gunn says on Project Runway, “Make it work!” I made it work.

My original plan failed because of my crappy food processor. I’m still using the same one when I was back in Texas. It’s so small and the plastic pieces keep on breaking and the speed is quite weak… I also wanted calamari tentacles but at Whole Foods, they only had the tubes. Anyway, the final product was quite delicious.

[100% organic, wild sea scallops, calamari from Thailand, clams from USA]

For the Risotto

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 6 cups dashi stock
  • 2 TBS squid ink
  • ¼ cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt & pepper

Heat up the stock and keep simmering at low heat. In a pan on medium-low heat, melt the butter and heat up the olive oil. Sweat the garlic and shallots and sweat until translucent. Stir in the rice and make sure the butter and oil fully coats the rice. Cook until the ends of the rice are transparent, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Then add in the wine and cook until completely absorbed and the alcohol has evaporated.

Add 1 cup of the hot stock mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the bottom of the pan is almost dry. Adding ½ cup stock at a time, stir until almost all the liquid has been absorbed between each addition. Be careful not to let the bottom of the pan dry out. Continue to stir often, and repeat until the rice is al dente, about 20-30 minutes. Before adding the last addition of stock, stir in the squid ink.

When risotto is done, season with salt and pepper. Then fold in the grated cheese and combine well. Adjust seasoning and keep warm.

For the Pistachio Cilantro Quenelles

  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, and extra for ganish
  • 2 TBS miso
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt & pepper

The miso already has a lot of salt in it so be mindful of when you season. Put everything into the food processor and blend until desired consistency. Remove and set aside.

For the Calamari

  • 3 calamari tubes
  • Canola oil
  • Salt & pepper

Slice the tubes into rings. Sauté the calamari for 1-2 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Drain from pan and keep warm.

For the Clams & Velouté

  • 2 cups dashi stock
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 4 Cherrystone clams
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS AP flour
  • Salt

If you have remaining dashi stock from the risotto, add that to the 2 cups for the velouté. Place the saffron into warm dashi stock and let it infuse for 15 minutes. Season lightly with salt. Add in the clams and bring to a slow simmer. Once the clams have fully opened, they are ready.

Remove clams from shells and keep warm. Strain dashi through a strainer lined with cheesecloth and into another pot. Slowly whisk in the butter and flour, to make the roux, and once sauce as thickened, adjust for seasoning and keep warm.

For the Scallops

  • 4 colossal sea scallops
  • Canola oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat a pan over high heat and add in enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Before you add in the scallops, you should see the tiniest bit of smoke. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Once you put the scallops into the pan, DO NOT MOVE THEM and turn heat to medium. Cook scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how big your scallops are.

TO ASSEMBLE

In a ring mold, pack the risotto. Top with the calamari rings and clams. Place scallops on the plate, drizzle velouté over scallops and top of risotto and calamari. Using two spoons, make quenelles from the pistachio cilantro mixture.

Sea Scallop with Squid Ink Risotto

I usually make risotto as a lunch or dinner portion but I’ve never made it as an appetizer dish. Since my menu project has 9 courses, I have to keep my dishes small so that’s why I needed to make this small-sized portion of risotto.

The king oyster mushroom idea that I had didn’t go as well as I had hoped but I included a photo of it anyway (bottom of page).

A quarter cup of rice made 4 little portions!

[100% organic, wild colossal scallops]

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS butter
  • One 8 oz. clam juice
  • 5 cups shrimp stock
  • 2 TBS squid ink
  • ¼ cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • 1 king oyster mushroom, sliced vertically
  • 4 Atlantic sea scallops
  • Butter, as needed
  • Canola oil, as needed
  • Microgreens/chives
  • Salt & pepper

In a pot, pour the clam juice into the shrimp stock and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a slow simmer.

In a pan on medium-low heat, melt the butter and heat up the olive oil. Sweat the garlic and shallots and stir for a minute. Stir in the rice and make sure the butter and oil fully coats the rice. Cook until the ends of the rice are transparent, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Then add in the wine and cook until completely absorbed and the wine taste has evaporated.

Add 1 cup of the hot stock mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the bottom of the pan is almost dry. Adding ½ cup stock at a time, stir until almost all the liquid has been absorbed between each addition. Be careful not to let the bottom of the pan dry out. Continue to stir often, and repeat until the rice is al dente, about 20-30 minutes. Before adding the last addition of stock, stir in the squid ink.

When risotto is done, season with salt and pepper. Then fold in the grated cheese and combine well. Adjust seasoning and keep warm.

Sauté the slices of mushroom in butter and a drop of oil until they are golden brown. Season with salt. Drain on paper towels and slice each into thirds, vertically.

Season the scallops right before putting them into the hot pan and sear them.

TO ASSEMBLE

Place the slices of mushroom in a crisscrossing/weave pattern on the plate, then place risotto in a 2-inch ring mold, and place a scallop on top. Top and decorate with microgreens.

I used radish sprouts because they are a little spicy.

Seafood Terrine

I’m glad my team is finally done with our charcuterie buffet. I was responsible for making the seafood sausage, seafood terrine, and pork buns. Originally, I was just going to make the seafood sausage but since there was so much of the mousseline/forcemeat, my chef instructor suggested that I make some terrines in addition to the sausages.

Don’t worry, I already cut down the recipe size. Makes 4-5 terrine molds.

[wild arctic char, flounder, scallops]

For the Garnish

  • ¼ lb shrimp
  • ¼ lb fresh scallops
  • ¼ lb arctic char fillets, skinless
  • 1 cup peeled pistachio nuts
  • 2 TBS chives, finely sliced
  • 2 TBS parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 TBS tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS chervil, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS basil, finely chiffonade
  • Salt, as needed
  • White pepper, as needed

Shell and devein shrimp. Then chop coarsely. Chop scallops and arctic char fillets. Put all seafood in a bowl and place in fridge.

Make sure than all the herbs are finely cut and chopped. Leave pistachios whole.

For the Mousseline

  • 2 lbs flounder/fluke fillets, skinless
  • ½ lb fresh scallops
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • Up to 2 cups heavy cream, ice cold
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Chop/cube the scallops and the fish fillets then place in the freezer for 30-40 minutes.

Place in food processor with white pepper, salt, and egg whites. Pulse and continue to process by adding ice cold heavy cream slowly until desired consistency. Remove from food processor and place in large mixing bowl.

Fold in all the garnish, first seafood, then pistachios and herbs. Mix well.

Make test dumplings and adjust seasoning.

Line terrines or earthenware containers well with plastic wrap, making sure to allow for overhang, then pack terrines with mousseline. Close terrines with the overhanging plastic wrap and place in a double boiler in simmering water for 10 minutes. Then place in the oven, with the double boiler, for 15-20 minutes. The internal temperature of the terrines should be 145°F.

Remove from oven and take out of double boiler. Place on top of terrine another same-size terrine mold or a piece of wood or heavy cardboard cut to fit inside the mold that has been wrapped in plastic wrap. Put a 1-pound weight in the empty terrine mold or on top of the wood/cardboard. Chill terrine with weights for 24 hours to allow flavors to develop.

Slice them at least 1 cm thick.

This is the marble slab that I presented the seafood terrines on during the charcuterie buffet.

*Adapted from Fritz H. Sonnenschmidt’s “Charcuterie: Sausages, Pates and Accompaniments” and Chef Nicolay Yerofeyev from the French Culinary Institute.

Rosemary Seared Scallops with Cilantro Lime Spaghetti

I finally had time to go to Chinatown today. I have been craving for shrimp since I left Hong Kong three weeks ago. The shrimp at Whole Foods is insanely overpriced and I refuse to buy those frozen packaged ones. This morning, I was going to go to Whole Foods but I suddenly thought about visiting a fish market. I searched on Yelp and people said to go to The Lobster Place in Chelsea or Chinatown.

Duh.

I went to Chinatown and spoke Chinese there to the staff. They don’t accept credit cards – Yelp got that wrong. It was only supposed to take me 20 minutes to get there but there are always shutdowns of certain express lines during the weekend so it took me double the time.

[100% organic, scallops from Canada]

  • Thin spaghetti
  • 1 TBS EVOO
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large button mushroom, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, zested & juiced
  • 1 rosemary twig, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 5-7 scallops, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
  • Salt & pepper

Boil the spaghetti in salted water and add a few drops of oil to prevent sticking. Cook 1 minute short of al dente, remove from heat and drain (pasta should still be quite firm) and keep warm, save some pasta water.

Drain the scallops and pat-dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a pan, melt the butter and heat up the EVOO on medium-heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice and cook for 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and add cooked pasta to the pan and cook covered for one minute. Add some pasta water if too dry.

In a separate pan, sear the scallops. When scallops are almost ready, sprinkle rosemary over scallops. When done, remove from heat and place on top of pasta and serve!