February 8, 2013
Hazelnut Sea Scallops with Vinegarette Dressing
It's still hot on this side of the world, well in my part anyway, and so light meals are still very much on the menu.
I found it necessary this week to quickly devise a lunch dish very much at the last minute that not only needed to taste great, but had to impress my visitor as well.
A quick look around my kitchen revealed bags of nut flour still sitting on my bench and I thought how it would be interesting to use it in a savoury dish too.
The nuttiness is such a great contrast to sweet meats and I didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen for very long, the perfect answer was Scallops. Such creamy, sweet soft flesh with just a moment in the pan, all that was needed was a touch of acidity for the perfect ladies luncheon indeed- yummo!
Scallops, about 3 per person
1/2 cup Hazelnut Flour
1 Shallot (much sweeter than onions)
tablespoon Butter or substitute
4 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Dice about half the shallot as finely as you can, you want lovely little pieces that will cook in seconds. You only need about a teaspoon per person at the most
When presenting my scallops very simply like this, I prefer not to have the roe attached, but of course that's a personal choice and up to you to decide when you go to make your own dish.
Add a bit of seasoning to the hazelnut meal, then toss the scallops in it and make sure that they're thoroughly coated
Melt the butter on moderate heat, then cook the scallops carefully for only about a minute or so per side. You don't want to burn the nut flour coating but you do want it to develop a bit of a nice crust, so don't turn them over too early or the nut coating will come off and stick to the bottom of the pan
Remove the scallops from the pan and quickly toss in the diced shallot.
Stir it around for a minute until it's just starting to soften
Pour in the vinegar, swizzle the pan around a bit to mix it through, then pull off the heat and you're done!
I served the scallops drizzled with a bit of the dressing and with some little herb flowers from the garden. It would have been really nice to have a few chunky bits of roasted hazelnuts on the plate as well just to reinforce the nut theme and it would have provided a lovely textural contrast to the gorgeous creaminess of the scallop meat as well- but I just didn't think of it in time! The touch of vinegar gave these little nutty beauties the perfect lift they needed, and I sure think my friend was impressed with my quick last minute meal.
So Dear Readers, what did you have for lunch today and do you like the roe on or off your scallops?
Nuts and Nut Flour supplied by Lario International - Thanks guys!