Friday, October 19, 2012

Pan Seared Sea Scallops & Minted Pea Purée Crostini

This spectacular Seared Sea Scallop & Minted Pea Purée Crostini elevates a simple dish into something truly memorable. You can serve these canapé as a starter, main course or even as an eloquent appetizer by using smaller slices of bread. I love the notion of a canapé — all the fla­vours of a delicious meal, heaped extra­vag­antly into one per­fect mouth­ful. The word canapé was coined in 18th cen­tury France and means 'sofa', drawing on the analogy that the garnish sits on top of the bread similar to invited guests reclining on a love seat — the per­fect romantic descrip­tion! 

An extremely elegant appetizer, pan-seared sea scallops are nestled on a pillow of sweet minted pea purée and served on warm garlic and olive oil rubbed slices of baguette, then topped with shaved shallots, aged sherry vinegar aioli and a flurry of baby cress. Not light on the pocketbook, but extremely impressive on the plate, this is the perfect canapé for an hors d’oeuvres party or special dinner.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops & Minted Pea Purée Crostini
Serves 12 as an appetizer
photo courtesy Derek's Restaurant/Sarasota

1 baguette
3 cloves garlic
, peeled and cut in half length-wise
1/4 cup good olive oil

Minted Pea purée:
6 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 tbsp garlic
2 shallots 

1 cup fresh mint, washed, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 /2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

Sherry aioli:
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tbsp shallots, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white sugar
1 lemon, juiced
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

6 large sea scallops, patted dry
2 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
1 shallot, shaved for garnish
1 bunch baby watercress or sprouts, for garnish

Purée all the ingredients for the pea purée in a food processor and reserve for later. Slice the scallops in half lengthwise, pat dry and season with salt and white pepper. For the sherry aioli, purée all but the oil in food processor. Slowly add oil with food processor running until it emulsifies. Cover and set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over high heat and once the butter is hot, add the scallops and cook for 2 minutes each side, then set aside.

For the crostini, cut the baguette into diagonal slices about 3/8-inch thick, place on a baking sheet and set in a preheated 475°F oven. Bake until just golden, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the tartine from the oven, and using the fresh cloves of raw garlic, rub one side of each of the toasts, then brush a little olive oil. Set aside.

To compose the tartine, spread the pea purée over the toasted slices of baguette. Slice the seared scallops and lay on top of the pea purée. Top the scallops with the aioli and shaved shallots and garnish with young cress or sprouts.

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