Last month, Eating Club Vancouver got the win (though FotoCuisine came in 2nd!) Since the Vancouver sisters won, they got to choose the ingredients for this month, in a competition which is becoming known as the Iron Chef of the foodie blogosphere! It’s really fun and friendly, with no pressure other than to do one’s best. So check it out!
This month’s ingredients are:
I changed my mind about three times on this, from pork ribs, to barbecue, but when my local seafood place had diver scallops for a good price, I decided on a honey-espresso glazed diver scallop meal. For a kick, I added some flash-fried prosciutto parma, because nothing goes better with scallops than some fried pork.
I took a scattering of black peppercorns, and crushed them. I added them to some espresso grounds, and brewed a couple demitasses of black-pepper-espresso.
Once brewed, I started a saucepan with the espresso and 4oz of white wine (a Pinot Grigio). I simmered it gently to reduce by half.
Meanwhile, I took a shallow pot and poured in a couple inches of peanut oil. Once heated to roughly 350-370 degrees, I tossed in some pulled prosciutto parma to sear and crisp quickly — maybe 30 seconds per batch:
Meanwhile, the espresso/wine mixture had reduced a little, so I grated some lemon zest, added the zest and the juice of the lemon to the sauce, then added a tablespoon of honey.
The diver scallops I found were huge. Bigger than I expected when told they were U-10s (under 10 per pound). I cooked up four for the two of us, and that pretty much filled us up with their richness.
I seasoned them simply with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. A scant film of olive oil in a heated pan, and the scallops seared nicely.
Once seared, I threw the scallops under the broiler with some of the espresso honey glaze, to caramelize a bit, along with a bit of fresh pineapple sliced into a fan for garnish.
Plating was scallops surrounded by flash-fried prosciutto, with the pineapple garnish to the side, with some honey-espresso glaze to coat.
1 cup espresso, brewed with crushed peppercorns
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
4 Diver Scallops (roughly 10-12 oz)
kosher salt and black pepper to coat
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3rd fresh pineapple, sliced thinly and fanned
Deconstruction: This was a pretty tasty scallop dish. The espresso honey glaze was pretty subtle — there was a sweet coffee taste similar to a Kahlua. The sweetness of that went pretty nicely with the sweet seared taste of the scallops. The scallops ended up perfect — it’s pretty hard to screw up diver scallops with their size. A sear on each end, a little bit of resting, and there’s not much that can go wrong. The prosciutto was interesting — I was hoping for a bacon crisp, and it ended up a little more like Canadian bacon. A bit like ham, some nice saltiness to go with the sweet. If I had to do it again, I’d probably go with thick-sliced bacon, crushed after frying, but the prosciutto wasn’t bad by any means (I just wanted some more texture to offset the tender scallops).