Meet bellevue club’s new Executive Chef, Chris Peterson. for the arts issue, he put a creative twist on a simple scallop dish.
seared sea scallops with Carrot Ginger Couscous and Cilantro Vinaigrette
FOR THE COUSCOUS
2 cups Mediterranean couscous
2½ cups fresh carrot juice (about 10 carrots)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger juice
(about a two-inch piece, peeled)
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup water
1½ tablespoon kosher salt
FOR THE CILANTRO VINAIGRETTE
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup olive oil
½ tablespoon finely minced shallots
FOR THE SCALLOPS
16 large, fresh sea scallops
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
To make the couscous, start by juicing the carrots and ginger. This will retain the pure, bright flavors of the carrots, ginger and orange without the pulp. Do not substitute with a blender.
In a shallow microwaveable container, mix the couscous with all the juices, water and salt. Let the couscous stand at room temperature in an even layer for 25 minutes, or until the couscous is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff it with a fork, and add more salt if necessary. I don’t prepare the couscous with the conventional method because it cooks out the nutrients and bright flavors we are trying to harness. The cooking will take place later.
To make the vinaigrette, combine the cilantro, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper and briefly whisk them together. Then, while continuing to whisk, pour in the oil using a slow steady stream. Stir in the shallots, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. This is a broken vinaigrette, meaning by simply whisking ingredients together you create a temporary emulsification. Once on the plate, it will have a beaded look that will show off the ingredients with a collage effect.
To make the scallops, first pat them dry on a paper towel. Then, season them all over with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil to the smoke point (I recommend turning on a kitchen fan). Carefully place the scallops in the oil flat side down. Cook for about 90 seconds, or until there is nice browning. Then, turn them over and cook for another 90 seconds. Remove them and set aside.
In the covered microwaveable container, cook the couscous on high for about 90 seconds. Do not dread the microwave. It can be incredibly useful, even in fresh cooking.
Remove from the microwave and let steam, covered, for 30 seconds. Plate the dish with grilled or fresh vegetables of your choice. My favorite is fresh arugula with shaved radishes gently tossed with some oil, salt and pepper. You decide, but make the plate look beautiful!