Pretty much the entire month of October was taken up by preparations for a little gaming convention this past weekend, so I have been busy painting little soldiers instead of cooking and blogging…
Tuesday was my first full day off since then and I decided to have some fun with some scallops. Because I am a bit of a planner I wrote out a menu for the night’s festivities, something to give me a foundation to build upon.
At least one Twitter follower thought it was “meticulous”. It’s just the way I do things.
Gathering the Mise
- Scallops, preferably large dry sea scallops
- Champagne, I used Freixenet
- Balsamic vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- Green Onion Aioli
- Red Onion
- Green Onion
- Artichoke Hearts
- Red or Yellow Sweet Bell Pepper
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
First I started to marinate the Red Bell Pepper, some Green Onion and Red Onion in the Lemon Juice with some fresh-ground Black Pepper and a Teaspoon of EVOO.
(Do this part first so the vegetables have time to absorb that Lemony goodness)
Next I put about 1/4 cup of the Balsamic Vinegar with the sliced Shallot in a pan over medium heat to reduce a little.
Poaching the Scallops themselves only takes a short time, so we save that step for last. The next thing I did was start to assemble the salad ingredients on the plate. Since the Scallops and the Balsamic reduction were going to be sweet I wanted there to be some bitterness to contrast that flavor, with the acid of the Lemon juice bringing all of the pieces together.
Cut out a thin slice of the Radicchio, this will be the base of the salad. I also roughly chopped some more for a garnish, alongside Green Onions cut on a bias and the Artichoke Hearts (the kind that come in a jar, packed in oil – drain them but do not rinse). I also gave the plate a dusting of Paprika and a few drops of the EVOO.
When the Balsamic was where I like it I took it off the heat and put it in the fridge to chill. I put another sautee pan on the heat and poured in a cup or so of the Champagne, turning up the heat too.
Time to finish building the salad. Pile some of the Arugula atop the Radicchio slice, add the marinated vegetables:
Finally, add your Scallops to the boiling Champagne and cook them to your desired level of doneness. I like mine firm, perhaps a little underdone. Place the Scallops on top of your salad, then drizzle with the Balsamic Reduction and Green Onion Aioli.