Recipe of the week: Scallop and British Columbia apples


A mix of flavour and textures, this Autumn scallop dish strikes the perfect balance of lively freshness and familiar comfort, while using locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. The delicate preparation of the scallop allows for it to truly shine while showcasing the irresistible flavor of scallops that most know and love. The brining of the scallops is a crucial step that imparts incredible flavour, just as brining does with other proteins such as chicken or turkey. The apples used in this dish are from British Columbia, Canada and are bursting with flavour at this time of the year. Canada’s growing season can be short in some areas; however, British Columbia is home to incredible agricultural regions that are able to grow quality fruit and vegetables for many months of the year.

Slightly brined scallops are torched to order and sliced on top of a charred apple puree. Hazelnuts are toasted in brown butter, slightly crushed and mixed with a delectable brown butter powder. The composed dish is topped with a bright apple and radish salad; to add freshness, sweetness and a slight bite from the raw radish. Roasted pork belly and toasted millet are cooked into a broth that is then poured tableside to add body to the dish and finish cooking the scallop just moments before enjoying.

This is perfect dish for an elevated dinner party as many elements can be prepared in advance and guests will be truly impressed by the tableside pouring of broth. This step allows for an interactive way to start off a delectable, and memorable, meal! A unique take on a much-beloved classic; the scallop.

Ingredients

2 scallops
Salt
3 tsbsp bonito flakes
200g pork belly, roughly chopped
100g millet
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of thyme
4 apples
4 radishes
225g butter
100g milk powder
30g hazelnuts

Directions

Charred apple puree

Put two of the apples in an oven on broil or on the BBQ, rotating every few minutes until charred all over. Put the apples in a metal mixing bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. You can proceed with the rest of the recipe after letting the apples steam for a few minutes but ideally they should be left out at room temperature for six+ hours, or overnight. After the apples have rested, core the apples (leave the skins on) and puree in a high-power blender for five-six minutes, slowly increasing speed and adding some water as needed. The puree should be smooth and dark in color.

Scallop brine

In a sauce pot, make the brine by combining one litre of water and three tablespoons of salt. Bring to a simmer, take off the heat and add the bonito flakes. Leave to simmer, off heat, for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and set aside until it is cool. Add scallops to the brine for one hour. Remove and pat dry.

Pork belly and millet broth

In a stock pot on medium heat, add the chopped onion and pork belly, stirring frequently, until the belly has rendered most of its fat and the onion gets charred. Add in the millet and toast, stirring frequently for approximately five minutes. Add the thyme and whole garlic cloves and cover with water. You want this broth at a rolling boil, replenishing the water as needed. Cook this way for two hours. Leave to infuse, off heat for as long as you can, ideally overnight, strain and reserve.

Brown butter hazelnuts

Melt the butter in a small sauce pot; once it turns to brown butter, add the hazelnuts and toast lightly. Strain and return brown butter to the stove, reserving the toasted hazelnuts. Add the milk powder little by little to the strained brown butter, whisking until it forms a dry powder. Blitz the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and fold in the brown butter powder.

Apple and radish salad

On a mandolin, slice the remaining two apples and four radishes and then cut them into a fine julienne, using a knife. Put them in fresh water with lemon juice until needed. This will help keep them from oxidizing and maintain their crispness.

Composing the final dish

To assemble: season the scallops lightly with salt, torch them all over and slice. Put a dollop of apple puree at the bottom of a bowl, top with the sliced scallops, hazelnut brown butter powder and the apple salad. Finish tableside with two ounces of the pork belly & millet stock, served hot so it will cook the scallop and slowly mix itself with the apple puree. Enjoy!

Thank you to Chef Phil Tees from 1888 Chophouse at Fairmont Banff Springs for the recipe.

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Comments (4)

  1. Andy says:

    Far from cheap, scallops are one of my favourite foods to cook with. This recipe just about sums it up, you can use them with so many other foods. I can just imagine how well they would work with apples.

  2. Julie Humphrey says:

    I love these features from around the world. Recently I read in a newspaper that most people have a repertoire of between just 5 and 9 recipes that they recycle over and over again. It’s made me think about what I cook and I’m trying out more recipes than I used to.

  3. Diana Presley says:

    I’ve never liked scallops. Well, they’re inoffensive but at that price they’ve got to be something special to shell out that sort of money. Sorry, I won’t be trying this one.

    Last week I gave the pumpkin soup a whirl. My version tasted fine though the presentation wasn’t as good as that in the picture.

  4. Rene M. says:

    I have never tried scallops mixed with something sweet before, I guess I’m more accustomed to eating seafood with savory flavors rather than sweet. When I cook scallops, I usually just throw in butter then when it’s melted, throw in the garlic, then the scallops, and add in a little bit of zest from a lemon, and voila. Although, I’m really curious what seafood would taste like when it is mixed with sweet flavors. Seafood is a really staple food here in Asia because we’re surrounded by waters and seafood is very easy to find in the markets, you can even fish for them yourselves, just hire a boat driver and with a little bit of swimming, you’d find yourself a bucket full of seafood and a big tummy. I guess it’s the sweet and salty (brined scallops) combination here that makes it work.

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