Scallops with Potato Puree, Herb Oil

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scallops-with-potato-puree-herb-oil

Scallops with Potato Puree, Herb Oil

I love finding interesting vessels in which to serve my food. For this holiday season, I will be making my delicious seared scallops with purple potato puree, segmented orange, shaved fennel and herb oil served in scallop shells. The shells are inexpensive but have a very beautiful, festive presentation when served to guests. To start, make a delicious purple potato puree and keep it warm. Purple is one of my favorite colors and I love seeing it appear on the plate. Even if you can't find purple potatoes, the color of the potato won't change the taste. Simply buy regular Yukon gold potatoes and make a puree with butter and the cooking liquid from the potatoes. While the potatoes are boiling, segment an orange, which is an awesome technique to know beyond this recipe. Segments of orange will brighten up any winter salad or make a delicious dessert garnish. Next, shave the fennel in thin slices, and mix it with a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice to keep it nice, crisp and white. Herb oil has an equal combination of two herbs, dill and parsley, that are emulsified in a food processor with extra-virgin olive oil. For cooking the scallops, it is important to get your pan to a very hot temperature. Stainless steel will produce a better browning effect, but I have done it in a non-stick pan, as well. Pick scallops that are firm and unified in size. Wash and dry them gently as they may have traces of sand left in them. Season the scallops with salt and a little pepper, and then sear for few minutes or less on each side. They will release from the pan easily when they are ready to be flipped or picked up. To serve, smear puree onto each shell and top it with the scallop. Then garnish the dish with orange, fennel, fennel frond and herb oil. Sprinkle with mildly spicy red pepper on top, which I think always adds a pretty color to a plate. If possible, serve warm or at least at room temperature.

scallops-with-potato-puree-herb-oil-ingredients

Ingredients: scallops, orange, fennel, potatoes, dill, parsley, chives, extra-virgin olive oil, butter, salt, mild red pepper.

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To puree potatoes: As you peel and cut potatoes in half, place them in medium pot filled with enough cold water to cover potatoes by 2 inches. Place the pot on medium-high heat, add salt and as potatoes begin to boil, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for about 10 minutes. Insert the knife into a potato and check for doneness.

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Transfer potatoes to a food processor or Vitamix, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1/8 cup potato cooking liquid. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding freshly ground white pepper at the end. Alternatively, use a potato masher; in fact, it produces better results, as food processor will extract too much starch.

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Make herb oil: Simply chop dill and parley roughly, transfer to food processor or Vitamix. Add half of oil, process by adding the rest of oil in one stream, until herb oil is emulsified.

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To segment an orange: Slice off the bottom and top of an orange.

scallops-with-potato-puree-herb-oil-cut-orange-rind

Using a paring knife carefully cut away rind in strips.

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Clean any remaining white pith with the knife.

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Then working over the bowl, slice into fruit along each membrane letting supremes fall into the bowl. Set aside.

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Orange supremes.

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For the fennel: Using mandoline slicer(thinest setting) or with a knife, slice fennel bulb very thinly.

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Transfer to a bowl, squeeze a little lemon juice to stop it from browning, add a dash of olive oil and salt. Mix to combine and set aside.

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Sear the scallops: Wash scallops under cold running water and pat them very dry. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Heat a large stainless-steel frying pan over medium high-heat; add butter and a splash of vegetable oil to prevent it from burning. Add scallops to the pan, do not overcrowd, otherwise they will steam instead of caramelizing. Cook without moving them for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side (depending on scallops' size) or until golden crust is visible. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to blub extra oil or to a baking sheet lined with wire rack. With a second option, it is also easy to keep them warm in the oven at 200F if not served right away.

scallops-with-potato-puree-herb-oil-smear-pureescallops-with-potato-puree-herb-oil-add-scallop

To serve: Smear a spoonful of potato puree into each shell/or small plate. Top with scallop.

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Add orange segment and shaved fennel. Drizzle with herb oil. Garnish with fennel/or dill fronds and season with mildly spicy red pepper.

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Serve warm with small spoons.

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scallops-with-potato-puree-herb-oil

Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Scallops with Potato Puree, Herb Oil

recipe details

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the scallops 
  • 6 scallops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
For potato puree
  • 10 oz. purple potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
For the herb oil
  • ½ cup parsley
  • ½ cup dill
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
To garnish
  • 1/3 small fennel bulb, fronds reserved
  • 1 small orange, segmented
  • Mildly spicy red pepper- Aleppo, Chili Powder or Harissa spice

Directions

  1. Make potato puree: As you peel and cut potatoes in half, place them in medium pot filled with enough cold water to cover potatoes by 2 inches. Place the pot on medium-high heat, add salt and as potatoes begin to boil, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, check with the knife for doneness. Transfer potatoes to a food processor or Vitamix, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1/8 cup potato cooking liquid. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding freshly ground white pepper at the end. Alternatively, use a potato masher; in fact, it produces better results, as food processor extracts too much starch.
  2. Slice the fennel: Using mandoline slicer (thinnest setting) or a knife, slice fennel bulb very thinly. Transfer to a bowl, squeeze a little lemon juice to stop it from browning. Add a dash of olive oil and salt, mix to combine and set aside.
  3. Segment an orange: Slice off the bottom and top of an orange and using a paring knife carefully cut away rind in strips. Then working over the bowl, slice into fruit along each membrane letting supremes fall into the bowl. Set aside.
  4. Sear the scallops: Wash scallops under cold running water and pat them very dry. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Heat a large stainless-steel frying pan over medium high-heat; add butter and a splash of vegetable oil to prevent it from burning. Add scallops to the pan, do not overcrowd, otherwise they will steam instead of caramelizing. Cook without moving them for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side (depending on scallops' size) or until golden crust is visible. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to blub extra oil or to a baking sheet lined with wire rack. With a second option, it is also easy to keep them warm in the oven at 200F if not served right away.
  5. To assemble: Smear a spoonful of potato puree into each shell/or small plate. Top with scallop. Add orange segment and shaved fennel. Drizzle with herb oil. Garnish with fennel/or dill fronds and season with mildly spicy red pepper. Serve warm with small spoons.
 

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