To make sure my wife and unborn child are well nourished, I made a pretty tasty dinner last night for the two of them.
Erin had requested the scallops a week or so ago, which was one of her favorites at the restaurant I worked at in Chicago. There are a few components to the dish, so it’s not quite a 30 minute meal, but it’s still not too bad:
For the saffron cream – place about a cup and a half of cream in a sauce pan with a good pinch of saffron, bring to a boil and reduce by at least half, season with salt and cool.
For the roma tomatoes – cut the stem end of 2 or 3 tomatoes off and gently squeeze the tomato to get excess liquid and seeds out (you won’t get them all). Next, cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise, season generously with salt and pepper, toss with olive oil and place on a rack on a sheet tray. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 30 or so minutes, until the skin is wrinkled. Allow to cool then peel the skin off and cut the tomatoes into a medium dice.
For the Yukons – cut 2 potatoes into small dice, hold in cold water for a while, then blanch in a deep fryer at 325 degrees until just cooked through. Spread out on a towel and season with salt.
For the garlic butter – place 6 to 8 cloves of garlic in a small pan and cover with vegetable or canola oil, poaching gently until the garlic is soft and easily pierced by a knife. Allow to cool. Take 4 ounces of softened unsalted butter and place in a food processor and mix with the garlic (you could probably do this with a fork as well).
Now you’re all set to go. To finish the dish, sweat a shallot that’s been minced, then add the potatoes, turn the heat to med-high but don’t burn the shallot. Toss in a good handful of the tomato, then add a good amount of cream and about 2 tbsp of the garlic butter. Make sure here that the butter doesn’t break, you want it to emulsify with the cream. Season with salt and pepper.
For the scallops, clean and dry them and season with salt only on one side (the side you’ll cook first) and salt and pepper on the second side (since the first side is generally cooked longer the pepper has a tendency to burn and nothing tastes as bad as burnt pepper). Heat up oil in a cast iron skillet on high heat, add the scallops and firmly push down the center (if you don’t the center won’t sear) even at the risk of getting splatter burned. Flip the scallops and while they’re finishing place a couple of generous spoonfulls of the ragout in the center of a bowl. Pat the excess grease off the scallops before placing them on the ragout.
As a garnish, I used bacon that I’d cooked until crunchy between two sheet pans. At the restaurant we used deep fried serrano ham and also had a salad of micro-greens in the center, though frisee would work just as well.
At the restaurant I currently work at we have profiteroles with salty caramel ice cream which I just can’t get enough of, hence I decided to try to make it at home:
For the pate a choux I used Gale Gand’s recipe from her cookbook, though any pate a choux recipe would work. I think they came out quite lovely:
For the ice cream I used this recipe from David Lebovitz, except that I left out the caramel praline.
You put the two together and this is what you get:
It’s quite delicious.