Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Scallops, Creamed Mushrooms, Asparagus Puree

A beautiful, easy dish, elegant in it's simplicity. This dish never ceases to impress. I can see myself serving this to a girlfriend sometime, however I may find myself more obsessed with how the dish looks than the girl. But unlike many girls, there's substance behind the beauty. Meaty portobellos match bold scallops. Light asparagus puree rounds out the dish.

Dice some portobellos then saute them for 2 minutes in smoking oil. Add salt, then let the liquid that is released cook out. Deglaze with a few tbs chicken stock and reduce to oblivion. Add about the same amount of heavy cream and cook until thick and rich.

Meanwhile, blanch asparagus in heavily salted water until just tender, then remove to an ice bath. Puree the asparagus with just enough water to allow it to turn, and puree until smooth. Remove and pour into a strainer set over a bowl. Don't touch it for five minutes, to allow excess water to drain. Discard the water at the bottom of the bowl, then pass the puree through the strainer into the now-clean bowl. Finish by warming over low heat while whisking in a pat of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Get a heavy cast-iron pan with vegetable oil smoking. Add your scallops that you've seasoned with salt. Sear on one side till nice and dark brown, then flip over and add two tbs butter, a few sprigs of thyme, and two crushed cloves of garlic. Tilt the pan so that you can use a spoon to baste the scallops with these ingredients. Baste for a minute or so, then remove your scallops.

Place a spoonful of puree down on your plate. Top with creamed mushrooms. Finish with a scallop on top. Be amazed at how easy it is to create a dish that looks and tastes this good, with such little work.


Delaney said...

Darling, I know you're young, but losing the "girls suck" voice will lead you much more quickly to actual female companionship. Be proud of your work, but don't hate your audience.

Nick N said...

Delaney, thanks for the advice. My comment was intended as a joke, and was not meant to be taken critically. I will keep your words in mind for the future.

Anonymous said...

The food looks and sounds great. The prose was entertaining. It is a shame that some readers need to extract their olfactory nerves from the "southern orifice" to smell the humor. Your editorial regarding the interaction between the genders is accurate, as always, and amusing. Smart chicks acknowledge that there are "Paris Hiltons" amongst us. You are not damaging your chances with women, you are culling the rejects. If you were aiming at anything female, you would only need to develop your Chicken Caesar Salad technique (dressing on the side) and add some American Idol "celebs" tou your Ipod. Don't lose your voice, or your palette.

Anonymous said...

"Be amazed at how easy it is to create a dish that looks and tastes this good, with such little work."

Oi! I think your definition of easy and my definition of easy are very, very different! Sounds absolutely delish though! :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds great... but in a matter of economy, i would reserve the tips and say put them into a lovely tomato consomme.. then use the stalk to make the sauce... sometimes when I want to cheat with scallops, i dust with a little bit of powdered sugar... it now only lends to a lovely crust, but accentuates the sweetness of fat scallops.

Anonymous said...

What a great recipe, and beautiful photo. I find that fresh oyster mushrooms are complimented very well by cream. I think I am going to try this recipe using oysters. Thanks for the inspiration! I will let you know how it turns out.
- Brittany

Jeremy said...

I enjoy your posts man. I hate to seem like I am on a high horse or something but I can't help but ask: Why asparagus in February?

There was a killer scallops I used to cook when I was working in California. Seared scallops over a brioche crouton, galzed carrots, braised then fried pork belly and all of this over a salt cod chowder. Needless to say, it was a marvellous plate of food. If you want the reciepe shoot me an email.

Keep cookin' man!

Nick N said...

Jeremy, I'd love the recipe.