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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Scallops 3 Ways: Poached in Coconut jus with Fennel. Seared with Parmesan, Potato and Pancetta. Pan fried with fresh peas, mint and scallions

The other night I decided to make a Michael Mina http://michaelmina.net/ inspired dish and prepared scallops in 3 distinctively different ways. I love the delicious, soft and delicate texure of scallops and I adore the idea of taking one main ingredient and preparing it in 3 stark contrasting ways allowing you to appreciate the contrasting beauty of the ingredient.

This recipe gives you scallops in the first preparation surrounded with the warm, vibrant and soft flavors of Thailand with coconut milk and keiffer lime leaves. Then the taste explosion continues with the savory and rich experience of perfectly caramelized potatoes with a touch of crisped sage and prosciutto. Lastly a creative 3rd interpretation with fresh market peas, mint and cream.

I personally loved the center Thai version yet the others were absolutely delicious as well. This dish takes time but if you prepare the sauces in advance (even the day before) then all you have to do is quickly fire the scallops and voila you have a beautiful, artsy and delicious meal!! I think it’s best to serve this dish in little individual ramekins on a top of a large square white plate. There's a lot of sauce that accompanies each preparation and when you serve them together you run the chance of each sauce running together. If your in a very aggressive move I would follow this with filet mignon prepared in 3 ways and a dessert of 3's. I know, i know a bit much but it would be incredible wouldn't it?

Serves 4.

Poached in Coconut jus with Fennel

Poached in Coconut jus with Fennel

4 Scallops-Live or Dayboat if you can find them

Coconut jus

2 cups chicken stock
 (homemade if you have time)

3 cups coconut milk

1 cup coconut juice

1 teaspoon red curry paste (find in most supermakets)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 Lemongrass-thinly sliced

2 inches ginger thinly sliced

6 lime leaves, can be bought at any Asian market
- These make the dish so don’t leave them out! If you look hard enough you’ll find them!

Lime juice to taste

sea salt

1 baby fennel-thinly sliced


1. In a medium pot, mix the stock with the coconut milk, coconut juice, red curry paste and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over med. heat and then bring back down to a simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Now add the aromatics. Add the sliced lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves and lime juice and infuse the sauce for at least 10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt.

3. Strain the sauce and return to a pan.

Add 4 scallops and poach for about 4 minutes until just cooked through.

Season with lime juice to taste.

4. Plate each scallop in a shallow dish. Add ¼ of the shaved fennel to each dish. Pour ¼ of the broth over each dish.

Seared with Parmesan, Potato and Pancetta
– These in my opinion are the best.


4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut in large dice

4 Tablespoons Olive oil

1 Tablespoon Butter

2 cloves garlic, either roasted or poached in olive oil

½ bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

8 Cups Chicken Stock

White pepper to taste

Salt to taste

4 Scallops, Preferably live or Dayboats

4 teaspoons shaved parmesan

4 thin slices of pancetta (about one ounce), drizzled with olive oil and crisped in an oven with olive oil at 350 (about 10 minutes)

3 whole celery leaves

Olive oil to taste

Sea salt to taste


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized sauté pan.

Add potatoes and caramelized.

2. Add butter and toss to coat.

3. Add garlic, bay leaf, thyme and toss to coat again.

4. Add chicken stock. Bring to boil and return to simmer until potatoes are very tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Crust scallops on one side with shaved parmesan.

6. Heat remaining olive oil on medium heat in a sauté pan. Sear scallops, parmesan side first, for 2 minutes on each side.

7. Place ¼ of the potatoes on each plate.

Add seared scallop and garnish with pancetta crisps, celery leaves, olive oil and sea salt

Peas with Lemon, Mint, and Scallions

Fresh peas you’ll only be able to find in late spring and summer. I’d say grow your own or find them in the local farmers market. If you have to use frozen pees.

Serves 4

Kosher salt

Package of shelled fresh peas (around 2 cups)

A few Tbls unsalted butter

4 large scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced

1/4 cup heavy cream

A few Tbls. finely chopped fresh mint

1/2 tsp. packed finely grated lemon zest

Freshly ground black pepper

If using fresh peas: quickly blanch them in heavily salted water and cook for about 2 mins. Try and few and make sure they are done and aren’t too crunchy. Use a mesh strainer and pull them out onto a dish towel and drain. If you’re using frozen peas just run cold water over them until they thawed. Reserve as well.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat. Throw in the scallions and sauté a few minutes until soft. Add the heavy cream, a Tbls of the mint, the lemon zest, a heaping pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it thickens a bit and is clinging to the back of a wodden spoon. Now add the peas and stir to heat everything thoroughly. Sauce the scallops in a pan a few minutes on each side. When they are done place in the dish and pour the creamy pea, mint, scallion sauce to cover.

This interpretation sounds great as well but I didn't have time to pull it off. Soon. It would be a perfect amouche bouche, no?


Ceviche style with radish and lime oil

4 scallops thinly sliced

3 small radish-shaved thinly

3 teaspoons olive oil

½ bunch chives tablespoon thinly sliced chives

1 tablespoon lemon juice to season

sea salt to taste

1. Lay one scallops on a chilled plate

2. Top with radish, olive oil, chives, lemon juice and sea salt.

And not a crumb left on the plate :)

1 comment:

  1. I would totally try to relplicate if only I could find half the ingredients here in Bali. Im salivating at my desk.


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