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Video: Scallops + cauliflower = easy weeknight meal

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    >>> okay. so you're looking for a new idea for a weeknight dinner this week. you need something fast and easy. have you thought about scallops?

    >> the executive chef from the sea grill downstairs at rockefeller plaza , a place we love and eat at all the time here with recipes to help us out.

    >> thank you very much for having me.

    >> let's start with the cauliflower and you use the whole thing?

    >> yes. we are going to easily break this down and in general, we just split them in half.

    >> do the different colors have different flavors?

    >> not really. they look beautiful. flavorful. they all are the same. wher going to actually take the cauliflower and save large stems for later for a little purpose that we're going to keep them raw and do the shaved salad aspect and we're going to take some of the smaller ones and then we're going to break them apart. so we're going to take the smaller pieces and basically take them apart because we have beautiful florets and we're going to use these to caramelize.

    >> an after that you take all of these trimmings and we add it all together and we'll poach this in milk so it keeps the white color. once we actually put the cauliflower in until they're fork tender. when we bring up the milk, just make sure that the milk we skim off the top because cauliflower tends to give a little nice funk to it. we're going to try to take the funk off of it as soon as it comes to a boil.

    >> take the funk off.

    >> i love that. how long does that go in the milk?

    >> probably five minutes or so and once it's fork tender we use a knife and once it's cooked we take that and puree it in the blender and it's ready to go.

    >> and the scallops take almost no time, too.

    >> scallops are usually like less than a minute. everybody has that fear of like worrying about overcooking scallops but in this case it cooks really fast. nice hot pan. what we're going to do is some of the little pointers swer going to score them a little bit.

    >> it gives a nice good presentation look and also speeds up the cooking a little bit as well without having the fact of overcooking it. so we are going to just briefly go ahead and score them up and then we're going to start off with a nice good hot pan, olive oil .

    >> people with get scallops about anywhere now can't they?

    >> pretty much. they're available all yearlong but what makes it is the season is starting up and a lot of varieties are coming up now and we're going to start them off.

    >> nice and dry?

    >> right. ideally you want it nice and dry until it caramelizes.

    >> oh my god.

    >> again, nice here.

    >> do you have a favorite kind of scallop?

    >> i do. my favorite starts off right now november 1st is actually the season. you can come and enjoy it at the restaurant as well. then we'll add butter. lots of butter. always a good thing. take the garlic and mash that upright in there. and herbs and thyme. we'll easily get some color really fast. at this point, you want to just turn off the fire.

    >> wow, that smells good.

    >> we're just going to use that to baste and then that's it. the scallops are cooked within 45 seconds or so. then we're going to take these scallops right over

TODAY recipes
updated 11/1/2013 5:16:50 PM ET 2013-11-01T21:16:50

Recipe: Panko-crusted scallop with healthy tartar sauce

  • 1lb scallops fresh or dry packed. (Frozen medium scallops are fine.)
  • 2 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs cracked and whipped for egg wash
  • 4 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 red bell pepper washed, seeds removed and discarded, diced into small pieces
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1/4 bunch mint, picked and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, picked and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup yogurt, Greek-style preferred
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

For healthy tartar sauce:

In a non-reactive stainless steel bowl, combine lime juice, lemon juice, peppers, onions, and celery, cucumbers, mint, cilantro, lemon, and lime zest.

Mix well, and fold in yogurt

Adjust seasoning by adding salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste.

For panko-crusted scallop:

Using a dry kitchen towel, pat down the scallops to absorb any moisture.

Season the scallops with salt, and pepper, and dust them in the flour.

Pat down excess flour, and dip them into the egg wash.

Using a fork, carefully remove the scallops from the egg wash, and cover them with panko.

Add canola oil to a non-reactive stainless steel sauce pot over medium-high heat.

Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, gently fry the scallops until golden brown.

Serve with the tartar sauce on the side.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Pan-seared scallops with cauliflower variations

  • 12 scallops fresh or dry packed (frozen medium scallops are fine)
  • 1 head cauliflower, 2 to 3lbs. (Separate into florets, save a few large florets for thin slices, use all trimmings for puree.)
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 2 oz butter, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, flat leaf Italian (washed, picked, and roughly chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole, peeled, and smashed
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, prefer using a peppermill

For the scallops:

Rinse off the scallops and pat them dry.

Once dry, make partial incisions on the scallops in a criss-cross fashion, and season the scallops with salt and pepper.

Place a non-reactive sauté pan over high heat, and add olive oil, and sear the scallop with the cut side down.

Sear the scallops for 30 seconds, and then add the butter, garlic, and thyme. Flip them over, and baste.

While basting them, turn off the heat, and let the residual heat cook the scallops.

Remove the scallops from the pan and reserve.

Using the same pan, over medium high heat, add the cauliflower florets and sauté them.

Adjust the seasoning by adding salt, pepper and butter.  Once nice and brown, turn off the heat and add chopped parsley.

Reserve until plating.

For the cauliflower puree:

In a non-reactive sauce pot, add all the trimmings of the cauliflower, and stems with milk. Set over high heat and once it comes to a boil, skim the residue, and reduce the heat down to a simmer.

Check with a fork to make sure the cauliflower is soft and tender.

Once it is cooked all the way through, strain out the milk and place the cauliflower in the blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt, pepper and olive oil.

For plating:

Using a serving spoon, ladle 2 spoonfuls of the cauliflower puree.

On top of the puree, place 2 pieces of scallops, and surround the scallops with the sautéed florets.

To finish, garnish the dish with raw shaved cauliflower florets, and sea salt.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

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