Friday, March 1, 2013

Pan Seared Scallops over a bed of Roasted Sliced Brussels Sprouts with Cheddar Beignets

Pan Seared Scallops over a bed of Roasted Sliced Brussels Sprouts with Cheddar Beignets 
by Sandra Simmons
The Wine Dive recommends Simply Naked Chardonnay to be paired with this dish.

Atop a serving plate, stack two cheddar beignets in the center of the plate. Then add a thin layer of roasted sliced Brussels around the beignet stack to cover the plate entirely. Add 6 scallops atop the Brussels in a pleasing and symmetrical manner. Drizzle with the wine sauce from the pan and sprinkle with fresh Italian parsley. Serve.

Cheddar Beignets:

adapted from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

equipment needed:
cooking thermometer, I used my candy thermometer
rolling pin
a heavy pot or Dutch oven

1 packet yeast
3 tablespoons water (between 100-110 degrees)
3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups flour + 1 cup flour for kneading, etc.
2 cups cheddar, shredded
peanut oil or vegetable oil
powdered sugar

Pour the yeast packet into a large bowl. You can use tap water but measure it and make sure you get it in the right temperature range. Add the water to the yeast and stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the milk in a saucepan and heat it over medium-low to low heat until it is steaming but not boiling. Add the sugar, Crisco, and salt. Turn off the heat and stir until the Crisco is dissolved. Then let the mixture cool until it's between 100-110 degrees.

Add the egg, saucepan contents, two cups flour, and the cheese to the yeast and stir it until it's combined. Take some of the additional cup of flour and put it on your counter or Silpat and spread it around. Put the dough on the floured surface. Knead the dough with all or most of the additional flour for about eight minutes (I set my timer.)

Get a clean bowl and put a little vegetable oil in the bottom. Place the dough in the bowl and then turn it over until the dough is oiled on all sides. Cover the bowl with a towel and place it in a draft-free, warm area, around 85 degrees, for one hour. In the summer, this is not a problem. The rest of the year, I preheat my oven to 200 and then I turn the oven off and leave the oven door open slightly while I make the dough. When it's time for me to put my dough aside to rise, the oven if the perfect temperature.

After the dough rises for an hour, punch it down and place on a floured surface. With your rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangular shape. Now, it doesn't have to be perfect. Beignets that aren't a perfect shape, taste just as great! Cut the dough into squares of about 2 inches, or close to it. Leave the squares on your floured surface and cover them with a towel in a draft-free place for about 30 minutes, maybe a little more, until they have doubled in size.

Pour two to three inches of peanut or vegetable oil in your Dutch oven and heat the oil to about 370 degrees. Gently and quickly put four pieces of dough in the oil with a spatula. Don't drop the dough in! You could cause a splatter! Cook the dough on each side until golden brown, between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Take the beignets out of the hot oil when done and place them on paper towels to drain until ready to serve. Serve hot or room temperature. They are delicious either way.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
Preheat the oven to 425. Place some parchment paper atop a rimmed baking sheet. For each dish, slice 5-6 Brussels thinly and toss with about 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the Brussels in a thin layer on the rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 7-8 minutes or under cooked.


Pan-seared Scallops
Adapted from Use Real Butter 

6 large dry scallops
coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
1 ½ to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white wine
Italian parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

If you are using frozen scallops, be sure and thaw them completely and dry them completely. Water will cause steaming in the pain when you are cooking the scallops. Lightly press the water out of the thawed scallops between paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of each scallop with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Put a sauté pan (not non-stick) over medium high heat until you can drop a little water in the pan and see the water dance across the surface and quickly evaporate. Then add about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pan. If you heated the pan properly, the oil will be hot immediately and you will see a shimmer on the oil. Add the scallops one by one to the pan about 1-2 inches apart. Any closer and steaming will result. Cook the scallops without moving them for 2 minutes (set the timer). Turn the scallops over in the pain and cook an additional 1 to 1 ½ minutes and then place the scallops on your serving dish atop the roasted Brussels Sprouts in a pleasing and symmetrical manner.

Immediately add the butter and when it’s melted, add the wine. Using a metal spatula, scrape up the browned bits and stir the liquid so that the but are combined. Cook the liquid down by about ½ until it’s thickened and drizzle it over the Brussels, scallops, and beignet. Sprinkle the entire dish with a little Italian parsley and serve immediately.

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