Course #2 was Richy McRich. I am not talking about the cost here folks, but the caloric intake. But since it was Valentine's day, Jared figured we could indulge a bit. This dish is so incredibly rich and flavorful. Scallops on their own are already a great dish, but pairing that with foie gras took it to the next level. To help cut the richness of the foie, Jared used a pomegranate reduction to add tartness. All together with the smooth cauliflower puree, drops of truffle oil, scallop and foie gras in one bite.... wow.... I am at a loss for words just thinking about it. I guess you'll just have to make it to our next Valetine's Day dinner? :) We're taking reservations.
Warning: This recipe gets a little complicated.
4 U10 scallops (preferably dry instead of injected with solution)
2 oz grade A Foie Gras 1/4 in thick
1/2 head cauliflower
2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 oz POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
Salt + Pepper
- Wash the cauliflower and remove the steam leaving only the florets.
- Cut the florets into slices and add it to a sauce pan with the cream
- Simmer on low heat until the cauliflower is falling apart. About 30 minutes (NOTE, be sure to keep a watchful eye, since high heat will cause the cream to boil over and you are left with a mess to clean up later)
- Strain the cauliflower and reserve the cream
- Add the cauliflower in a blender and add some of the cream back to get it started. (WARNING, steam from the cauliflower can cause the top to come off. Be sure to keep your hand with a towel on top)
- Slowly add the cream back into the blender until puree is smooth and silky.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- You can make this ahead of time and warm it back up using a double boiler prior to serving.
- In a sauce pan, add 8 oz of pomegranate juice. Cook on high heat until it reduces to a syrup consistency
- Remove it from the flame and keep warm.
Scallops with Foie Gras (serves 2)
- The preparation technique of the scallops were taken from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc cookbook. Rinse the scallops with cold water to remove impurities
- Add 1 cup of warm water into a container and dissolve 1 tbsp of salt. Then add 1 cup of cold water to the container. Add the scallops and let it brine for 10 minutes.
- Remove the scallops and pat dry with paper towel. Let is stand for 10 minutes in room temperature. This will allow it for more even cooking and not stick on a stainless steel pan.
- Season one side with salt and pepper
- In a stainless steel pan, heat on high and let the pan get hot. Then turn the heat back to medium high. Add enough oil to cover the base of the pan. Add the scallops and do not touch for 3-4 minutes. Let the scallop develop a nice crust. Meanwhile, spoon hot oil over the top side of the scallop. Once a nice crust has developed, turn the scallop over and let it kiss the pan. Remove the scallops and place it on a paper towel to remove excess oil. (NOTE, smoke and oil will splatter. Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated or do as we do and take the batteries out of the smoke alarm and put it back afterward)
- In a new clean pan, heat on high until the pan is hot. Add the sliced foie gras into the pan. For kicks, Alice suggested that I cut the foie gras into little hearts. Cook on one side for 15 seconds and flip and cook the other side for 15 seconds more. Beware that the longer you cook the foie, the more fat will render out. Remove and place it on a paper towel to remove excess fat and season with salt. Reserve the fat for cooking later
- To assemble, drizzle the pomegranate reduction around the plate, spoon a dollop of the cauliflower puree onto the center of the plate.
- Drizzle a few drops of truffle oil on the puree (USE sparingly, this stuff is $$$ and a tiny bit of truffle oil goes a long long way)
- Place the scallops and foie gras on top
- Decorate the plate with pomegranate seeds