Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blueberries are Upon Us

As is usual for this time of year, I'm spending some time on the Michigan lakeshore. However, rather than the usual after-dinner Blueberry recipe, I've decided to share a really vibrant/fun recipe using scallops + blueberries.

Crimson Lentil Crusted Scallops with Blueberry Gastrique

Quantity Produced:  Serves 6 as an appetizer

Sea Scallops, 10/20ct.                          10-12
Crimson Lentil Crust                           as needed/see recipe

For Gastrique-
Dry White Wine                                 2 Cups
Sugar                                                   1 Cup
Champagne Vinegar                            ½ Cup
Fresh Blueberries                                 2 Cups
Lime Juice                                           ½ Lime

Preparation Procedure-
For gastrique, bring wine to the boil and reduce by half. Place sugar in a clean dry pot. Cook over medium heat without stirring. When the sides of the pan begin to caramelize, stir with wooden spoon to even out the color. Off heat, carefully pour vinegar in caramelized sugar. Add reduced wine and berries. Return to heat and whisk until well blended. Bring to simmer and reduce until berries pop and thickens to syrup consistency. Strain through mesh chinois and season with salt and white pepper. Finish with fresh lime juice and keep warm.

For Scallops, crust in Lentils on two sides and sear in hot skillet with small amount of vegetable oil. Cook briefly, about 3-4 minutes per side and serve immediately drizzled with blueberry gastrique.

Red Lentil Crust

Quantity Produced:  2 Cups

Red Lentils, Ground to consistency of coarse cornmeal           2 Cups
Turmeric, Ground                                                                   ¼ Cup
Kosher Salt                                                                              2 Teaspoons
Cayenne                                                                                   Pinch

Preparation Procedure-
Mix thoroughly and keep in cool place. Great crust for scallops or firm white fish.

New Southern Cooking in Miami

Had a great food experience at Yardbird Southern Table while in Miami recently. 'Nouvelle Southern' cooking seems to be de rigueur these days (my French quota is now fulfilled), but rather than simply substitute pork cheeks or heirloom green tomatoes for standard southern staples, Yardbird does a wonderful job of creating delicious (and rather light) and original dishes with just the right patina of Southern authenticity. Really good stuff!

Here it is:
Yardbird Southern Table

Now here's one of my favorite pickles, using watermelon rind (never a shortage of that this time of year):

Watermelon Rind Pickle

Quantity Produced:  1 Qt.

Kosher Salt                                          ¼ Cup
Water                                                  1 Qt.
Watermelon Rind*, Peeled/Sliced      6 Cups (*all red flesh and green skin removed)

Lemon, Sliced Thin                             ½
3” Cinnamon Stick, Broken                1
Cardamom Pods, Black                      ½ Teaspoon
Cloves, Whole                                     ½ Teaspoon
Allspice Berries                                    ½ Teaspoon
1” Piece of Ginger, Sliced                    1
Cheesecloth to Wrap                           As Needed

Water                                                              1 Cup
White Vinegar                                                 1 Cup
Sugar                                                               2 Cups

Preparation Procedure-
Brine prepped watermelon rind for 12 to 24 hours in a plastic container. Strain, rinse and strain rind again. Combine pickle ingredients with sachet and bring to a simmer in a medium sauce pan, cook 5 to 10 minutes. Add watermelon rind and simmer additional 10 minutes, remove from heat and let steep overnight or until translucent. Remove sachet and keep refrigerated with rind submerged beneath liquid (use a small plate or saucer for this). Will keep for 3-4 weeks.