As chic as a Chanel dress – Sea scallop on green apple with vanilla oil
Aussi chic qu’une robe Chanel – St jacques à la pomme verte et huile de vanille
I have been obsessing about this green apple/scallop combination for weeks, and could not come up with something that I would be excited about. Raw apple? cooked apple? diced? sliced? not sure how I wanted to make it work. I have seen many recipes with scallop and green apple but it was not what I wanted, I just wanted something fresh and not to have some kind of apple sauce. I needed to have my favorite ingredient vanilla in it. So I knew there would be vanilla oil. Sometimes when developing a recipe, you have to think about it for weeks and think about it progressively, like it needs to mature in your mind. The key ingredients here are the green apple and vanilla oil.
Granny smith and sea scallop are becoming somehow a trendy combination in French cuisine and more chefs are serving this beautiful and elegant concoction….and this for a good reason, it’s a magnificent combination of flavors. The acidity of the granny smith marries to perfection with fish. When I started to cook, I was more traditional in my cuisine but with time going by, it evolved into a more eclectic fusion of tastes. I still enjoy traditional cuisine, but love to explore new flavors, and this one is a perfect example of this new exploration.
In new contemporary French cuisine, you are starting to see more fruits combined with fish, everything tastes extremely fresh, has a very low cooking time, and is an exuberance of wonderful flavors. I think with the weather getting warmer, and more wonderful summer fruits coming on the shelves, I will do more exploration.
I simply adore this recipe, I adore the granny smith acidity combined with a little honey and lime, I adore the vanilla oil, the moist sea scallops, the Szechuan pepper, I love just about every little aspect of this dish. The absolute winning part of it, is that it’s ready in 10 minutes (of course you need to infuse vanilla in olive oil overnight), and the rest happens magically.
Sea scallop is such a wonderful ingredient, you don’t need to dress it up with spices, or a lot of add on. Nature did a wonderful job in making them naturally delicious, their natural sweetness is simply a pure delight.
Ingredients for 4 (as a small bite)
- 4 large scallops
- 2 medium size granny smith apples, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp butter + 1 tbs butter
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped and infused in olive oil overnight
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 lime juice
- 1 lime zest
- Szechuan pepper
First start preparing the vanilla oil by scraping the beans and adding it along with the rest of the pod to the olive oil. Place in a airtight container and let it infuse overnight.
Grate the apple and remove extra juice. Add 1 tsp of lime juice to prevent the pulp from staining. Add honey and salt.
Pat dry scallops on high heat and saute in 1 tbs butter until both sides turn golden brown, but still moist in the middle.
Melt 1 tsp butter in a small pan, then add apple for 30 seconds, just to warm it up.
Remove scallops, adjust with salt and Szechuan pepper. Place 2 tbs of apple mixture in small individual plates, add one scallop on top and drizzle with vanilla oil. Decorate with lime zests.
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