Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Manhattan Scallop First Course

After having had a fabulous lunch at Casa Mono in Manhattan yesterday, I was dying to try my hand at a stacked, eclectic, stylish dish. I raided the fridge to see what I had on hand. I found scallops, arugula, half a pomegranate and some Cara Cara oranges. I seared the scallops in a cast iron skillet, dressed the arugula with a Champagne Vinaigrette, cut up a few segments from those beautiful sweet pink oranges, and topped the whole thing in pomegranate seeds. The entire dish took about 20 minutes and tasted great. It's elegant enough for a dinner party or makes a perfect lunch entree.

Manhattan Scallop Salad

4-6 sea scallops, fresh and sweet
2 handfuls of baby arugula
1 Cara Cara orange
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons Champagne Vinaigrette

Heat a cast iron skillet to the burning point. When it starts smoking, you'll know it's ready. Add the scallops. DO NOT touch them, let them sear. The scallops will smoke and seem like they're burning. They're not. Once seared you can turn them with a metal spatula. If they are not releasing from the pan easily, they aren't seared yet, let them cook for a few more minutes.
When they're ready, turn them over and sear the other side. When finished, remove and reserve. Don't worry about the scallops not cooking through, as they sit, they will continue to cook.
Peel the orange, using a fillet knife. It's able to cut close to the skin leaving as much flesh as possible. Cut off both ends and remove sections of peel a little at a time.
Remove the sections of the orange by cutting between the with pith that divides the segments.
Now you have beautiful segments with not a wisp of white pith.
Remove the pomegranate seeds by splitting the pomegranate in half and tapping it with a knife. The seeds will fall right out.
To assemble, toss the arugula with the vinaigrette and place in the center of the plate. Stack the scallops as high as you like alongside the arugula. Place the orange segments next to the arugula and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the lot. Drizzle more vinaigrette over the scallops and oranges, and serve.
Serves 2

Champagne Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
1 teaspoon honey
sea salt
freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor or a blender, add the champagne vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. While the machine is running pour the olive oil into the feed tube. This will allow it to slowly drip into the vinegar mixture and form an emulsion. Once the oil is incorporated, the dressing is done.

All recipes and photographs are the sole property of The Gypsy Chef unless otherwise credited.

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