Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scallops in Calvados

Over Xmas I picked up a couple of bags of U12 count Canadian Scallops.  Yes they were frozen, but they did have a fairly low water weight so it wasn't too bad.  One batch went into Xmas Eve dinner with friends and the other batch was eaten at home with my girlfriend.

  • 6 scallops
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup calvados
  • couple pats of ice cold butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking scallops is not a nearly as difficult as Hell's Kitchen seems to make it.  You do need a good skillet and a hot flame, but it shouldn't be rocket science. To brown anything, it needs to be "dry" so blot all excess moisture off of the room temperature scallops, I placed mine between a few sheets of paper towel, about 15 minutes before I needed them.  Put the skillet on the flame and get it smoking hot. Season the scallops with salt and pepper1. Add an oil with a high smoke point, I have been using grape seed oil. Once the oil is smoking place the scallops in the pan.  Don't touch them, don't move them, until they have got a nice golden crust, around 2 minutes for my U12s.  Flip them and wait until the scallop is just turned opaque.  Remove them from the heat and place them on a plate to rest for a moment while you prepare the sauce.

In the same pan add the shallots and garlic, once the shallots are translucent, deglaze the pan with the calvados, and reduce by half.  Wisk in a couple pats of butter to make a nice rich creamy sauce.  If there is any liquid from the resting scallops whisk that into the sauce.  Place 3 scallops per person on a plate and sauce.   The night I made this, I served it on a bed of seasoned quinoa, and a side greek salad.

For me the sweet apple flavour of the calvados goes nicely with the sweetness of the scallops.

More Later....
G


1 I've resorted to fine pre-ground pepper, because out of my pepper mill the pepper is course and it feels gritty on the scallops when you eat them.

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