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Prep Time: 20 Mins
Happy festive season and I hope this will find you well and ready to gather around the table with friends, love ones, your pet(s) or just yourself.
This week is about celebrating the festive season and Christmas. So here is my recipe for an easy and simple dish you can make as an Entree or a Main course. As an Entree i will have 3 large scallops per person and as a Main about 5 large scallops per person.
After many years travelling and cooking around the world, I have developed this recipe that I want to share with you. My entrée, for Christmas this year, inspired by my childhood memories is a dish made of shark bay scallops, cooked with butter and seasoned with vanilla. I served it with a creamy sweet potato puree and cinnamon. I plate the scallops around the puree, add some leaves around coriander, beetroot, chicoree, coriander and a julienne of spring onion. The scallops are naturally sweet and salty so the vanilla just flaunt it a little more. The cinnamon in the sweet potato accentuate the natural flavour of the potatoes. The cream and butter just enriched the puree. The leaves give this dish and international melting pot of flavours that just embrace one another. The corn tortilla just gives the dish another dimension in term of texture and bring you to satiety.
This dish is a true sentiment of my childhood with memories of my travelling and professional career.
I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do. As I wish you all a wonderful festive and end of the year Season.
Are we ready to rummmmmmble ???????
Gather all your ingredients.. Hopefully you can get some fresh scallops, if not some frozen one, there is no problem with it. Just thaw them overnight in the fridge please. Not on the bench or in the sink full of water. This is a big no no for food safety.
Place your scallops on a paper towel as we want to have as less moisture in the scallops as possible.
Making the Sweet potato & Cinnamon puree
Grab your sweet potato and check the freshness. If when you cut it, the potato sweat, that means it good to go.
Peel your sweet potato with a peeler.
Cut large section at first.
then small dice. Small cubes will cook faster therefore reduce the cook off vitamins.
Place the cubes in a bowl and wash them under cold water.
Drain the sweet potato cubes.
Place the cubes in a sauce pot.
Just cover with enough water. 1 mm over the cubes.
Add 1/2 tea spoon of cinnamon powder. you could use quills or sticks too.
Add some salt.
Add a bit of freshly grind pepper.
Place the sauce pan on the stove at high heat.
Bring the sweet potato to boiling point. and cook for 5 minutes.
Check if they are cook. With a small knife or skewer. If it feels soft and non resistant to the knife, it is good to stop cooking
always check the cooking process on the bigger cube you can see. if it drops easily from the blade. It means the entire cubes of sweet potato are cooked.
Stop the heat underneath the sauce pot.
Drain the sweet potato cubes. You do not need to keep the cooking liquid.
Place the cubes in a clean bowl.
Add the cream.
Add the butter.
Mix and let it seat there on the bench for 3 to 5 minutes. it will cool down a beat for what we are about to do.
Hey hey... That my little trick. as i do not have a good food processor and i do not feed 10 people at home, i am using my nutribullet to make my puree, pesto, sauce, coulis,mousse.
i keep one cup for my juice and shakes and another one for cooking , and another one for cocktails.
However, BE VERY CAREFUL, you CANNOT use a very hot product inside and i do NOT WANT YOU TO GET BURN. so use a proper food processor if you have one or be patient and wait for the sweet potato to cool down.
I fill up my cup with the sweet potato, the cream , butter ONCE COOL DOWN.
Just like so, 2/3 rd of the cup.
Make sure you have a seal on the lead.
Pulse it for 10 to 15 seconds. Done and voila. I keep it in the cup as i can quickly re heat it in the microwave for 1 minute.
Scallops and garnishes
Time and efficiency is the reason why some people do not cook at home. here i will give you few tips.
So, whilst your potato are on the stove you can prepare this.
Slice your spring onion in small section. and cut it as a julienne.. thin strips. I will do a video on cut of vegetables one day.
Grab a small dish.
Add an ice cube to it.
Add some cold water.
Place your julienne into it. you will see in the 10 minutes process of you making the puree they will curl up.
Whilst the puree is still boiling. Cut your corn tortilla.
In half first
Then in 1/4.
Then in 1/8.
Place a frying pan on your stove and heat up. use a high heat as we need to cook the scallops fast and with a very hot butter.
Melt the butter until it sings (pops)
Have these beauties closed to you and ready to go.
When your butter is getting a little brown (Nutty). place the scallops one by one.
Do not overload the pan. so if you cook for 10 people you may want to use 2 fry-pan. Putting too many scallops at once makes the heat of the pan disappear. therefore you are not sealing the scallops properly, so the moisture will be release in the pan. Your scallops reject their juice, it start to boil around the scallops and it looks like you are poaching them.
If this happen your scallops will be tough or chewy. so be sure to use 2 fry pan if needed.
Cook until they are golden brown at the bottom. Really it takes 55 seconds to 1 minute.
Turn them over. and cook for another minute.
take them out of the heat.
Plating this wonderful dish
So Just before you turn over your scallops, place your container/cup of sweet potato & cinnamon puree in the microwave and heat up for a minute...
see the timing here ?? everything will be ready at the same time.
Place a soup spoon of Puree at the center of the plate.
If you are plating for 10 people you lay all the plates on a bench and you put all the puree on each plate.
Taking a flat dish or a ramekin,
Place the ramekin on top of the puree and push down.
you do that for every plate with puree in a row.
This will look like this. Modern and texture.
Place all your scallops on the edge of the puree.
You should do the same for all plates.
Places all the lettuce leaves.
All the curls of spring onions.
All the corn tortilla on all plates.
Grind some Vanilla over the scallops on all plates.
Now you can by this as it is... or you can also use your own grinder.. If you have dry beans in a cupboard. or beans that you left with the sugar to give flavour to it..
Place few leaves of fresh coriander.. tiny leaves as it is a powerful herb and we just want a "pop" of flavour here for that dish
And voila, i added a little coral Crisp tuile as garnish and i will show you how to make that too very soon.
Merry Christmas and happy Franchy's Xmas Scallops
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