Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Autumn Scallops

James loves scallops. I love chestnuts. When fall comes around I am constantly looking for an excuse to stir in a few chestnuts. Yes, I usually use vacuum packed chestnuts (except for Christmas eve when I generally try to roast a pan for us to nibble), and yes I could get those any time of year . . . but somehow autumn (into winter) is the only time that seems right. A stab for seasonality in our round the year, ship anything, anytime world.
This simple sauce was just leeks and bacon cooked until soft in a bit of butter, a bit of cognac flamed, vacuum packed chestnuts and chicken broth simmered until soft and pureed in the blender. I added a bit of cream and a hefty dose of S&P. With hot oil in the pan -- before I put the scallops into sear -- I tossed in some fine rosemary leaves (I would have used sage but we didn't have any handy -- I have to remember to plant some) just until crisp and set them aside on a paper towel. I laid the scallops in the hot oil and basted with melted butter as they cooked through. To serve I poured a bit of the warm sauce on the plate, laid the scallops on top and garnished with the rosemary leaves.
James scraped up the leftover sauce with toast -- success!

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