The Trattoria Project and Spectaculars: November 2008

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday Night Happy

Seared Sea Scallops with Quail Eggs and Caper-Oregano Vinaigrette
on a bed of Corn and Brussel Succotash drizzled with Black Truffle Oil

If you're not on a tight budget, I'd say get bigger scallops! Because I will admit shamelessly now that I bought 3 medium sized ones and sliced them into half and they were not nearly as enjoyable as I thought they might be. To hell with the economic downturn! Not because uncle dee lost his stocks but because the food prices strangely went up again. So if anyone knows of a place for me to get inexpensive, wide-ranging and fresh produce in this tiny little island of ours, contact me with the details because I will be eternally f******* grateful and might even send you a tub of demi-glace that I'm about to make again.

Now that I have roughly avoided my cheapskate personality from being perceived, let us move on to the dish itself.

In all honesty, this is not an original creation. The root recipe came from the really expensive Gordon Ramsay Three Star cookbook. I had wanted to try this for the longest time, but the largest of excuses and procrastinations has always got the better of me. Till one f****** fine day, when I chanced upon a read at Zen Chef's blog, I had a boner.

I mean look at those scallops - so nice, so round, caramelized with that sexy little quail egg oh my god this is insane. Some call it food porn, I call it a boner.

A frantic, mind-drilling week awaits. Tonight I rest and not think of tomorrow. For tomorrow will be tomorrow itself. On the unusually calm night that is now, I converted the fantasy that gave me the boner into reality. And GOD it was good.

Adapted from a Gordon Ramsay recipe
serves 4

4 Large Fresh Sea Scallops, halved
1 tbsp Curry Powder
8 Quail Eggs
zest of 1 Lemon
knob of Butter
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

1 large knob of fresh Corn, kernels sliced off the cob
1 tbsp chopped Prosciutto di Parma or Pancetta
300g Brussel Sprouts, roots removed, julienned
1/2 cup Dry Vermouth or Sherry
1 knob of Butter
2 tsp of Cream
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
tonnes of Black Pepper
Sea Salt

Caper-Oregano Vinaigrette
2 tbsp Capers, rinsed and dried
1 handful fresh Oregano, chopped
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 med Shallot, chopped
1 tbsp Champagne or White Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
1/2 cup of EVOO


Black Truffle Oil

-Subtly dust scallops with curry powder, salt and pepper.
-Lightly coat with zest.
-Get a pan searing hot, add butter.
-Sear scallops 30 secs a side, add a touch of EVOO to stop it from burning then further sear it for 15 secs.
-Remove immediately and let it rest on a wire rack.
Using a paring knife, tap on the tip of the quail's egg to crack. (unless u have tiny and sharp fingernails) Cook eggs on the same pan for 20secs, remove and set aside.

-Get a pan searing hot, add butter, garlic and prosciutto.
-When garlic starts to turn golden brown, add in corn and brussels. Toss. Saute for 2 mins.
-Add vermouth. Reduce. Season lightly with salt but lots of black pepper. Add a touch of EVOO if it looks like its starting to burn.
-Saute until brussels are tender, turn off heat.
-Stir in cream and set aside.

-Blitz everything in a blender for 1 min.
-To serve, spoon succotash on a plate, top with scallops then egg, then a dot of vinaigrette and drizzle with black truffle oil.