Seared Sea Scallops with Sauce Bercy, Pea Pureé, and Roasted Tomatoes with Capers
I will be the first to say that I “Top Chef’d” the hell out of this meal. I think that Julia Child would have even been proud. I was able to incorporate some seriously savory French flavors into an overall well-balanced dish. I wanted to start with a nice classic French sauce to accompany my sea scallops. Sauce Velouté came to mind as one of the four “mother” sauces in French cuisine. The four French mother sauces are defined below (to keep you from going to Wikipedia):
Velouté is an amazing sauce on its own, but I wanted to get a deeper more toasty flavor, so I made a few substitutions. I used chicken stock instead of fish stock, a light brown roux instead of blonde and a generous helping of minced shallots, effectively making it a Bercy sauce with brown roux. Brilliant! There was so much punch to this sauce that I could have thinned it out by 4x and it would have retained its deep flavor. This would work with any fish or seafood entreé. Scratch that…use it for anything at all. Dip French fries into it for all I care. Just eat it, lots of it…now go!
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 cup chicken or fish stock
- 1 cup white wine
You will want to start with reducing your stock and wine. Pour both ingredients into a small saucepan and reduce by three quarters on high heat. This should take about 30-40 minutes.
While this is going, get down with your roux. Roux is just a fancy way to say flour and butter, cooked to a blond, brown, or mahogeny color. The darker the color the toastier the flavor. Black is not a color in this context. If you roux is black, then your roux is garbage…so don’t burn it. Keep your heat on low and stir frequently. It should take about 30-40 minutes to brown up as well. About 2o minutes into your toasting, add your minced shallots and continue to stir.
Once your base is reduced, mix your base with your roux and taste. Add small amounts of water to adjust consistency.
In a recent Top Chef, a contestant stole a pea pureé from another contestant. I thought it would be fitting to do the same. Thus, I stole Giada DeLaurentis’ pea pureé. If it ain’t broke…
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Mix all ingredients into a food processor except for the oil and Parmesan. Start the spinning action, slowly pouring in the oil until you get the correct consistency. Fold in the Parmesan.
Roasted Tomatoes with Capers
- 4 ripe medium-sized tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup of capers
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425º. In a small baking dish, add the tomatoes and capers, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano, and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to brown.
As for the picture, my DSLR was running on empty, so I used my iPhone 4 for this shot. Pretty good for a phone! Thanks again, Apple.