Bitter and sweet and not for Thanksgiving – Scallops with mandarin sauce on sauté radicchio
Amer et sucré – St Jacques à la mandarine sur lit de Trévise
One day before thanksgiving and I am so not in the mood for turkey, but fish, seafood, and more seafood. I think my guests would be disappointed, if I serve them a seafood dinner.
Thanksgiving dinner will be a non-American Thanksgiving with a white fish terrine, turkey with porcini, truffles, and cognac stuffing, chestnuts, chanterelles, and a bunch of nontraditional vegetables such as cauliflower purée, and potatoes boulangère, and to keep the tradition, a cheese plate with a green salad and ending with a pear and chocolate charlotte.
I was going to make a chocolate and pear tiramisù but then I realized that’s what I made last year, so let’s be a little more fun. I think there is still a little bit of Thanksgiving in there, don’t you think? I would make yams but the French don’t like yams nor cranberry sauce, so two ingredients that won’t be on the table…and no pumpkin pie either….
I’m sure there will be people thinking I am just ruining it, and that is so not a Thanksgiving dinner. I am sorry if I’m calling Thanksgiving something that should be called something different.
It’s been a while I did not make scallops, and those made my day…Scallops marry perfectly well with the the citrusy flavor of the mandarin. Radicchio brings a little bitterness to the dish and balances well the natural sweetness of scallop and mandarin. I love flaming with liquor, and Calvados is one of my favorite alcohol in cooking, since it’s made with apples and a you do get a very fruity flavor. It’s a quick dish to prepare when you feel like something on the fancy side but still that doesn’t take forever to prepare, that’s the one. I had to make my fish terrine and my chocolate charlotte so I didn’t have much time to play with anything else today.
Ingredients for 10 scallops
- 10 large scallops
- 10 mandarins
- 1 head of radicchio, cut in strips
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
- 1 tbs heavy cream or crème fraîche
- 1 tbs calvados (or any fruity liquor)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
In a pan, heat olive oil, add garlic, stir and add radicchio, adjust with salt and pepper. Cover and let it cook at medium temperature until radicchio is tender but not overcooked.
In a grill pan, grill scallops on both sides and keep warm.
Squeeze the juice of the mandarins and keep aside. Crush coriander seeds in a mortar.
In another pan, heat olive oil, add shallots and let them brown. Add coriander seeds, stir to get the flavors out, then add mandarin juice. Let it reduce for a few minutes. Add Calvados and flame. Add cream and let it reduce for less them one minute. Adjust with salt and pepper
Serve in individual small dishes. Place one tsp of radicchio in the middle of the plate, add one scallop on top and spoon some mandarin sauce on scallop. Decorate with chervil.
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