Sunday, 27 September 2009

Scallops with Asparagus and a Bean Mash


Mostly I'm a meat girl. I eat sushi and sashimi here of course, it's Japan after all, but when it comes to home cooking I'm much more comfortable cooking meat than I am fish or seafood. However, I'm trying to branch out a little and vary my diet, and practice is the only way to make me better at cooking these things, so I found this recipe and thought I'd give it a go. My scallops didn't turn out perfectly, I should have cooked them at a higher heat for a shorter time to get a nice crust on them, but it's all a learning curve.

This recipe originally came from here, and had a cauliflower puree instead of the beans. I wanted something a little more substantial though so I switched things up a little, any white bean would work for it, I used soybeans because they're the only canned beans I have and I didn't want to wait until tomorrow for my dried ones.

Ingredients serves 2

1 lb jumbo sea scallops (about 10)
1 small head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch asparagus*
2-4 tbs snipped fresh chives
1/2 c Greek yogurt
1/2 tbs butter
Olive oil spray (or you can brush/drizzle)
Salt and pepper to taste
Seasoning salt

*bunches here only ave 4-5 stalks, so you may one one per person

Substitutions

The big one was my bean mash: replace the cauliflower with a can of white beans/soybeans, then put the beans into a bowl with the cloves of garlic (crushed/grated). Mix the two until well combined and put in the microwave until heated through. Add to a food processor with the yogurt to mix, or mash together with a fork/masher if you don't have a mixer.

Instead of yogurt, I used sour cream and a little milk to get the consistency I wanted in the mash because I happened to have them in the fridge and didn't want to go out and buy anything.

I used a saute pan to cook my asparagus because my grill is awful.

My scallops were smaller instead of jumbos.

I didn't have any chives so I skipped them.

Method

If using cauliflower:
Bring a large stockpot of water to boil. Add chopped cauliflower and whole cloves garlic. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender. Drain and remove from heat, mash with a fork until cauliflower and garlic are completely pureed. Add chives and Greek yogurt, stir to incorporate.

If using beans: follow the instructions in the 'substitutions' section.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray or drizzle asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill until just done and still crisp.

While the veg is cooking, in a saute pan heat butter until foam subsides. Season scallops on both sides with seasoning salt. Place scallops in pan and do not move until they can be moved freely (not sticking at all). Turn over and remove from heat. The heat of the pan will continue to cook until perfect.

To serve, mound cauliflower puree/beans in the center of the plate. Top with asparagus spears, then scallops. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.

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