Recently I spent a lovely saturday at Dalmeran winery not far from the house. They have a beautiful kitchen where cooking classes are easily presented. Chef Mathieu Desmarest, Meilleur Apprenti de France, from Restaurant Paul Bocuse, led the course. There were 7 of us and the class was about 3 hours long. Our host Stéphanie Ginoux, from Cuisine Evenements, organizes lots of cooking classes in the area, and since I have found her, I just can’t stop following her:)
I have never really taken the leap and attempted to cook scallops (Noix de St. Jacques), on my own. So this class was a great way to get over that fear. They aren’t as daunting when you have a professional chef on hand to show you just how to handle them. Taking off the coral wasn’t obvious. There is a piece of milky white skin just opposite of the coral tail. You must delicately remove the skin, which will pull some thin skin from the side, which is attached to the coral. If done well, this all comes off together and your scallop is ready to be prepared.
Scallops Cold Starter (Entrée in French)
Scallops (2 per person)
Hulled Pumpkin Seeds
Honey Vinaigrette: 2 tbs Honey, Zest of 2 Limes, 2 tbs Sherry Vinegar, Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- Cut the top off of the butternut squash, then peel the bulbous section and slice it thinly on the mandolin.
- Place them in boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until al dente.
- Toss the pumpkin seeds in a warm slightly oiled pan and heat them until slightly brown; remove and lightly toss with a few pinches of fine salt
- Slice each scallop into many paper thin slices horizontally.
- Mix all vinaigrette ingredients but the oil in a bowl; then drizzle in the oil while whisking vigorously, until homogenous
- Plate 3-4 slices of squash, then layer the slices of scallop to cover the squash
- Use a brush to paint on the vinaigrette, then sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds and serve.
Seared Scallops and Mousseline of Sweet Potatoes (warm Plat)
Sweet Potatoes (1/2 per person)
Box/Can Coconut Milk
1 Liter Heavy Creme
1 Stick of Lemongrass
Scallops (3 per person)
- Break the lemongrass into several pieces and place them in a small pot with just enough water to cover them; then infuse the water on a low boil for 10 minutes
- Strain the lemongrass out of the water and put the water back into the pot.
- Add 1/2 Liter of creme to to the infused water and simmer on medium low to reduce the sauce; pass through a chinois before serving
- Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and boil them in salted water until tender
- Drain and place the potatoes into a food processor and add the coconut cream for a subtle flavor, then the heavy cream to finish out the smoothness; they should be fluffy, airy and still stiff
- In a very hot pan add a bit of olive oil and sear the scallops until golden brown on both sides but still bounce back to the touch.
- Plate the potatoes, then 3 scallops and finish with the lemongrass creme.