Tuesday, April 03, 2007

This is pretty much the recipe as seen in the dining section of the New York Times here by chef . I made a few changes that are within parentheses. It turned out pretty good.

Scallops With Seaweed Butter

Recipe: Scallops With Seaweed Butter
Adapted from L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Time: 20 minutes

4tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

8 large fresh sea scallops

8tablespoons ( 1/2 cup) rock salt, for serving

1/4 sheet nori (
edible sea weed), finely chopped (or snipped with scissors) to make 8 pinches, or 8 pinches thyme leaves

1/2 a lime

Fleur de sel (Fleur de sel "Flower of salt" in
French) is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. Traditional French fleur de sel is collected off the coast of Brittany, and is slightly grey due to the sandy minerals collected in the process of harvesting the salt from the pans.)

Piment d’Espelette (Piment d'Espelette is a long, red pepper cultivated in the Basque region of France. It is the star in the region's signature dishes, giving a not-too-hot, fruity finish to many recipes. During the fall months the façades of the houses, especially in the village of Espelette, are hung with garlands of these bright red peppers drying in the sun. A festival celebrating the pepper is held the last weekend of October. )

freshly ground black pepper.

1. Arrange 8 clean scallop shells or individual gratin dishes on baking sheet. Using pastry brush and about 2 tablespoons of butter, brush each scallop all over with butter. Set 1 scallop in each shell, and refrigerate until the butter is firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat broiler to high.

2. Neatly mound 2 tablespoons rock salt, spacing them well apart, on each of four large plates; set aside. Remove scallops from refrigerator and sprinkle each with a pinch of nori. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Broil until scallops are barely cooked through, about 3 minutes (I found that even 2 minutes may be enough).

3. Transfer scallop shells to plates, nestling each into a mound of salt. Sprinkle with lime juice as desired, and season with fleur de sel and piment d’Espelette to taste. Serve immediately.

(I did not have fleur de sel, so I just used some kosher sea salt which has a distinct flavor to it as well. In the absence of piment d’Espelette, I used some paprika, though I am sure something like ground chipotle peppers would work too, as would the amazing varieties of ground peppers that one can find in the grocery store or online. I am probably going to try this again and am thinking of adding a dab of wasabi and some freshly made soy ginger sauce on the scallops.)
Yield: 4 servings.

Closing Note..
While I have had scallops before, this is the first time I cooked them at home. What seduced me was the elegance and simplicity of this dish and it's almost minimalistic nature. The short cooking time was an added bonus too.

The sea salt, the delicate taste of the nori, a hint of paprika seasoning and the zest of fresh lime and ground pepper came together rather well along with the succulence of the scallops. The next round with wasabi and soy ginger sauce should take this dish to a different place. I am sure there are more variations to this that one can come up with


Mona Buonanotte said...

Ohhhhh...this sounds SO good. Simple yet elegant. I'm drooling.

ML said...

Sanjay - YUM! This sound absolutely delicious! I also liked how you explained the various ingredients and your substitutions.

Carrie said...

I had scallops once about 5 years ago on a cruise and I didn't like them. I believe they were overcooked. I should try it again.

patches said...

Sounds a lot better than the chicken I just ate. Damn, I could have had scallops

Lotus Reads said...

My hat is off to you, Chef Sanjay! Your meal looks and sounds delicious! BTW, I often follow recipes from the newspapers and have found that the New York Times and the Toronto Star recipes always turn out the best!

Sanjay said...

@Mona.. Thanks :)

@ml.. Thanks, it came out pretty ok I thought.

@Carrie. yes a second try might be worth the chance.

@Patches.. :-)

Sanjay said...

@Lotus.. merci, les arcs de chef à la dame!

The meal did turn out to be delicious.

I have to agree re recipes from the NY Times. I can only cook from a recipe. My cooking skills are fairly limited I must say. Thank you again for your kind comment.

Sai said...

This looks absolutely elegant not to mention appetizing. Thanks for sharing

Diana said...

I adore scallops and all seafood. Overcooking scallops is a crime and should be punishible under the law. What gets me is why you'd split those 8 scallops up. Surely, they'd be easier to eat if they were all on one plate in front of you.


You mean you're supposed to share them between four people?

Not in my universe.

Beenzzz said...

Sounds wonderful. Now I'm hungry!!! :)

deepsat said...

that looks very nice!!!

Shionge said...

Oh Wow Sanjay! Great job and yummy post I must say :D

I've bought frozen scallops from the supermarket and realised that it doesn't cook so well after I've thawed them :(

Yours looked great :)

Shitrint said...

that looks delicious! :)

its easy and less of a hassle wen recipes take just 20 minutes or so, but sometimes just getting the ingredients into place is more time consuming than the recipe.

Aditi said...

u know the food looks looks delicious but the thing i notice is that you make the food look so good in the pictures...

Keshi said...

do ya know I really love scallops?


Asha said...

WOW!!! Look who is taking over all the foodies?!;D

Looks great,good choice to experiment.

Imam Bayildi is out!

Sanjay said...

@Sai. you are very welcome and thank you.

@Diana..lol. I made these 2 and I was in a rush to leave, I had to rush. I made the rest later. We split them two ways. :)

@beenzzz .. Thanks

@Deepsat.. Thanks

lol@Asha.. no way, I like to cook for fun sometimes and not to mention it helps *A* who has longer hours than me.

@Shionge.. Thanks. Never tried frozen scallops.

@Shitrint.. Thanks. This was easy and quick all the way thru.

@Aditi. Thanks. You know I wish my SLR was digital? The pictures on that are even better that the aim and shoot digital I have. This picture is ok.

@Keshi. I did not know that. :)

Anali said...

Hey, this is turning into a food blog! : ) I love scallops and this reminds me that I have not had any in a while. I think it's time!