Even though some people are intimidated by cooking scallops, they’re very easy to prepare, says Executive Chef Anthony DeMuro of Different Pointe of View at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The secret? Make sure the sauté pan is smoking hot and be careful not to crowd the scallops in the pan because they’ll release too much liquid and will poach instead of sear.
DeMuro recommends using fresh scallops for the best taste and texture. “Never buy frozen scallops,” he says. “The firmness will tell you everything, but when you go to sear them in a hot pan, if they pop and splatter, they’ve been frozen.”
As for the accompanying vegetables, DeMuro says to use whichever seasonal vegetables you like. “Char them to get some nice color and position them in the middle of the plate as a platform for your scallops.”
If you’d like to see DeMuro in action, he’s participating in Arizona Wine and Dine on April 13 at The Scottsdale Quarter. For more information, visit azwineanddine.com.
Pan Seared Diver Scallops with Blood Orange Sauce and Cauliflower
4-5 large diver scallops
1 oz. olive oil
1 T. butter
Place the olive oil in a very hot sauté pan. Add scallops while being careful to leave space around each scallop. Sear until caramelized with a dark golden brown color. Turn scallops over and add a tablespoon of butter. Baste the scallops with the butter while the second side caramelizes. Let them rest for two minutes and serve.
Blood orange emulsion
3 cups blood orange juice
¼ cup yuzu juice
1 shallot, small diced
2 oz. fresh tarragon (no stems)
4 tbsp. honey
2 oz. rice wine vinegar
1 ½ cups lemon extra virgin olive oil
Place the blood orange juice, yuzu, diced shallot, honey and rice vinegar in a small sauce pot. Bring to a slow boil and reduce until it has a syrup-like consistency. Strain through a fine strainer and cool. Place in a blender once cooled. While blender is on medium high speed, slowly add the lemon olive oil and emulsify the sauce. Once emulsified, add tarragon.
Cut 2/3 cups of cauliflower into flat pieces, about 4 silver dollar size pieces per person. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Place cauliflower in the pan and brown nicely on each side. Add an ounce of cooking sherry once the second side is browned. Finish with a ½ ounce of olive oil then serve. Garnish with blood orange segments.
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