Pepper Seared Scallops with Roasted Acorn Squash
Recipe courtesy of Chef Scott Snoddgrass, One Restaurant, New Orleans, LA
Serves 4 to 6
Click image to enlarge.
This is not the finished dish but we wanted to show you what perfectly cooked scallops look like
Cut squash in half lengthwise and use a kitchen spoon to core out the seeds. Coat the squash, inside and out with oil, and place on a sheet pan, skin-side up. Cook for about 20 minutes in a 375˚F, or until squash is tender, then place in the refrigerator.
Once the squash is cold, peel the skin off, and cut into individual pieces.
Set aside for later use.
In a medium sauce pan, toast paprika over medium heat until it takes on a deep amber color. If paprika burns, (turns black or just too dark) start over. When color has been achieved, add honey and vinegars. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a slow roll. Stirring often, allow mixture to slowly reduce to a syrup-like consistency.
Set aside to cool.
After sauce has cooled, season both sides of the scallops with a light sprinkle of salt, but a heavy dose of black pepper. Cook scallops in a raging hot pan with a bit of olive or vegetable oil, to the desired temperature.
Usually takes about 1-2 minutes per side for a medium scallop.
Before serving, you must decide how you would like to re-heat the squash for presentation.
In the restaurant, we reheat each order by putting the squash in the deep fryer for a couple of minutes, but this might not be very economical at home. In this case, returning the individual pieces to a hot oven until tempered will work just fine, however the deep fryer will give another layer of texture that you can't get in the oven.
Put 1-2 ounces of gastrique on each plate and place a piece of squash on top.
Place seared scallops atop squash and garnish with a sprig of rosemary or thyme.
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