Sunday, June 19, 2011

Playing with a New Toy: Applewood-Smoked Scallops with Spring "Succotash" and Bacon Beurre Blanc

After months on my mental wish list, a cool new toy arrived at my door for my birthday: The Smoking Gun. I knew I wanted to play with smoking a scallop first... and thought about pairing bacon with the smokiness... and also using gorgeous spring favas and asparagus... This is what I came up with:
The Bacon Beurre Blanc broke under the heat of the smoke (I'll be tweaking that component today... update to follow), but the flavors of this dish were amazing. It was almost as though I am a genius... I decided to go with cryo-blanching to "cook" the favas and asparagus. Both started out with a 10-minute brine in salt water...
... before being vacuum-sealed, frozen, and thawed.
I rough-chopped the favas (I'll do a nicer job next time) and sliced the asparagus into coins, then set aside until it was time to finish the dish.
I'm not going to include pictures of the beurre blanc process since it sort of failed... To dress the veggies, though, I sautéed some bacon and shallots with a bit of (Amish) butter...
Just before plating, I tossed in the veggies for just long enough to warm them through.
Meanwhile, it was scallop time. I am still doing the Ideas in Food twice-cooked method. (Brined, cooked sous vide for 30 minutes at 50°C, chilled, sautéed...) Here are the scallops post-sous-vide but pre-sautée.
The scallops are seasoned with salt, seared on one side in oil, then turned, after which (Amish) butter is added to the pan. This was my most successful use of this method yet. As you'll see in the finished pictures, I got a lovely golden-brown sear in the butter. Awesome.
So, yeah... My new toy. This is the Smoking Gun. Isn't it cute?
After plating up all components of the dish, I generated some applewood smoke and trapped it under a glass dome with the dish for about 3 minutes. (I will do a bit longer next time just to make it extra-intense, but this gave a really beautiful smoky accent to the scallops... Mmmm...)
When the dome is removed (which is fun to have your guests do at the table), you have your finished dish with bonus smoky goodness...
I finished each plate with prosciutto powder, which was the perfect finishing touch. This is my new all-time favorite scallop dish... and just one more reason to be obsessed with fava beans... Link

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