Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The End is in Sight

As the winter SLOWLY dissipates, I'm taking a moment to reflect on cold weather dishes that I will surely be missing in just a few months. So while ripe tomatoes, pole beans and sweet corn certainly sound good right now, it won't be long before the "grass is greener" foodie in me will reflect on how great those braised short ribs, blood oranges and sunchokes were on cold winter Sundays. Here is a recipe I developed for those cold days when I really craved a salad, but needed something warm and smooth (sunchoke puree) to make it perfect and seasonal.

Winter Scallop and Frisee Salad with Warm Sherry Vinaigrette

Quantity Produced: Serves 8 (salad or appetizer portions)

20/30ct. Dry Scallops, Cleaned 16-24
Olive Oil as needed
Kosher Salt as needed

Chicken Stock, Preferably Homemade 4 Cups
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tablespoons
Sunchokes, Scrubbed or Peeled/Chopped 2-3 Cups
Kosher Salt & Fresh WHITE Pepper To Taste

Young Frisee, Endive or Arugula, washed 4 Cups
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tablespoons
Fresh Lemon Juice Few Drops
Truffle Oil (optional) 1 Tablespoon
Sea Salt To Taste

Sherry Vinegar ¼ Cup
Balsamic Vinegar 2 Tablespoons
Garlic, Minced 2 Cloves
Shallot, Minced 1 Medium
Extra Virgin Olive Oil ½ Cup

Preparation Procedure- Make vinaigrette, mixing all ingredients thoroughly, set aside.
Combine chicken stock, olive oil and sunchokes in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until sunchokes are tender, about 20 minutes. Using a stick blender or food processor puree until smooth. Season to taste and keep warm. In a large, heavy bottomed skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat and cook scallops until golden on one side only. Turn scallops over and turn off heat. Meanwhile toss lettuce with olive oil, lemon juice, truffle oil and sea salt. Plate a ¼ cup of sunchoke puree on warm plates, top with 2-3 scallops, and a small amount of lettuce. Swirl sherry vinaigrette into skillet used to cook the scallops, scraping to get all the scallop “goodness”. Spoon around the plate. Serve immediately.