Sunday, June 28, 2009

Scallops and braised endive

I stayed at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando back in April and had a wonderful meal at the Old Hickory Steakhouse that involved scallops and a vegetable puree. I've been watching a lot of Gordon Ramsay lately and some of the simple dishes he pulls together look divine.

Darling Husband was at Field Day (an event I'll address later) this weekend so it was a prime weekend to experiment with my cooking so I decided to try my hand at the scallops and a Ramsay dish.
I did my shopping Saturday and ended up not making my experiment until tonight so it is a good thing it worked out since husband had to eat it!

Pan-Seared Scallops on Vegetable Puree' with caviar

Dozen Large Sea Scallops
Bag Broccoli and Cauliflower florets (10 oz or so)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
2-3 grinds fresh black pepper
salty caviar

Steam the vegetables in their bag in the microwave, put in blender or food processor with about a half teaspoon of bouillon and salt. Puree. This may take a few tries, add a little water if necessary to "move" the vegetables. Leave in the blender to stay warm.
Rinse scallops, pat dry and season both sides with oregano, salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp olive oil (use good oil) in a skillet over medium high heat. Add scallops when oil is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.
While scallops cook, prepare braised endive,
Turn scallops over when you can see the sides become opaque, finish cooking.
Remove pan from heat to prepare plate.

Braised endive

3-4 heads of endive, washed and discolored outer leaves removes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Trim bottom of each endive head, slice length-wise in half and then quarters and then eighths. Some pieces will fall to the side, that's OK you'll cook them too.
Pour enough oil in a medium skillet to cover the bottom, heat on medium high. Add endive and a sprinkling of the sea salt. Cook the endive until crisp tender, don't over cook. It should still be a pretty green and white and hold its structural integrity.


Put about a tablespoon of puree for each scallop on the outer rim of a serving platter. Place each scallop on puree, garnish each with 1/2 tsp of caviar. Put endive in the center of the platter.

Serve with a green salad dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

When I had the scallops at the Old Hickory they clearly used expensive caviar and that flavor showed. I bought the cheap $8.99 caviar at Publix since if I failed with this dish I didn't want to have too much invested in it.
The flavor, when I ate a scallop with caviar on it at Hickory, was very reminiscent of lobster. The cheap caviar didn't give that same flavor. I think the main thing that gave it that richness was the saltiness and fishiness of the caviar so the next time I do this I am going to add anchovy fillets wrapped around capers to see how that shakes out.

The endive could not have been better even if Gordon himself had been in the kitchen - but I would not have kicked him out of the house!
La, a handsome man who can really cook - how lucky is Mrs. Ramsay, eh?

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