If you’re looking for light summer fare, try this tasty scallop recipe.
Isaac Dominguez, a student in the culinary apprenticeship at Johnson County Community College, created this recipe, which features a few items you might have to search for at the supermarket: U10 scallops, purple potatoes and celeriac.
U10 refers to the size of the scallops. They are available frozen or fresh, Dominguez says, and are the perfect size. However, if you can’t find that size, you should be fine buying fresh ones that are a little smaller.
“They are going to cost you more,” he says, “but you’ll still get a great, great outcome.”
Purple potatoes look like Yukon gold potatoes; they are just a darker color. Sometimes you can find a bag that contains both. If you can’t find the purple ones, just go with the Yukons. Fingerlings are small, finger-sized potatoes. They are often available at farmers markets but can sometimes be found in high-end supermarkets.
The celeriac, generally found by the root vegetables such as carrots, might be harder to locate. If you can’t find that, add a little extra fennel instead.
“This recipe is very forgiving,” he says, “especially with the vinaigrette.”
The recipe calls for the potato salad to marinate overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
When it comes to cooking, a special word of caution. Be careful when dropping the scallops into a smoking hot pan of oil: Dominguez recommends that you drop the scallops into the hot oil with a fish spatula. If you just plop them in there, the oil could splatter and burn you.
About the chef: Isaac Dominguez, 20, is in his second year in the culinary apprenticeship program at JCCC. He was born in Topeka and now lives in Olathe. He is an apprentice at Blue Hills Country Club in Kansas City. He was named JCCC’s Apprentice of the Year for 2015.
About the column: Cooking 101 is a bimonthly column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College’s Hospitality Management Program.
About the stylist: Kaarin Nelson is a fourth semester interior design student at Johnson County Community College. She styled the photo.
Seared Scallop on Escarole and Potato Salad With Vegetable Juice Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings
10 purple or Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut in large dice
10 fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, cut in large dice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon finely ground fresh black pepper
Vegetable juice vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/4 cup leeks, white only, roughly chopped
1/4 cup celeriac, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fennel, thinly sliced
1/4 cup carrots, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup onion, sliced 1/8th-inch thick
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs parsley
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
6 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon minced shallot
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 whole U10 scallops
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup leeks, white only, washed and finely julienned
20 leaves escarole
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup carrots, finely julienned
1/4 cup radishes, julienned
To make the potatoes: Put potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until fork tender but not mushy. Remove the potatoes and peel while warm.
In a small bowl, whisk to combine olive oil, mustard and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes to the mixture and toss gently. Let the potatoes marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours.
To make the vinaigrette: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the red bell pepper, leek, celeriac, fennel, carrots, garlic and onion and sauté until soft. The vegetables should not be brown. It probably will take 5 to 7 minutes for them to soften.
Add thyme, bay leaf and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Add water and cook over high heat for 45 minutes and reduce. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve. Let the juice cool. There should be 1 1/2 cups of juice. Combine the vegetable juice with red wine vinegar, honey, dry mustard and minced shallot. Mix well and slowly add 4 tablespoons olive oil until it emulsifies.
To prepare the scallops: Place the scallops onto a small plate and season both sides with the salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat a small nonstick sauté pan on high heat. Once the pan is extremely hot, add the olive oil.
Carefully place the scallops into the pan. Sear until golden brown on each side (about 1 minute per side). Remove the scallops from the pan and pat lightly with a paper towel.
To serve: In a frying pan add the peanut oil and heat on medium heat. Dry the leeks completely in paper towel, and place into the oil and fry until lightly golden. Place leeks on a paper towel and season lightly with salt.
In a mixing bowl, add escarole and toss in half of the vinaigrette; place five leaves onto the plate. Garnish with the red onion, carrots and radishes.
With a small ring mold place 1/4 cup of the potato salad inside and pack lightly. Remove the mold slowly. Repeat three more times. Place one seared scallop on top of the potato salad.
Divide the leeks and place on top of each scallop. Place the remaining vinaigrette in a small squeeze bottle and pour around the salad.
Per serving: 936 calories (58 percent from fat), 62 grams total fat (9 grams saturated), 6 milligrams cholesterol, 86 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams protein, 343 milligrams sodium, 8 grams dietary fiber.