Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mini Scallop Burger

I know, I have let down my non French-speaking readers lately and I’m sorry... I could try to put this down in my New Year’s resolution list but as always they are said but never made. I can only promise I will try to publish the English post at the same time as the original article - so everybody can read at the same time.

Disclaimer: it’s not always easy to convey into a foreign language the pun and quirkiness, this je-ne-sais-quoi that I like to use in my french posts - so I will keep it simple.

What comes after the festive season? D-E-T-O-X of course!
And apparently scallops fit the bill; want to try? Not sure my scallops burger is detox to be honest. One thing is certain, now that the festive season is behind us, demand has slowed down for this succulent mollusc and prices are going down as well…
My world-class scallops dish uses pumpkin and Jerusalem artichoke. I made them into bite-size burgers with Jerusalem artichokes crisps. Of course, a more traditional composition will do for a starter or a main course. Jerusalem artichokes can then be shallow-fried or cooked in the oven.

I adore Jerusalem artichoke, but it can upset some stomachs. Cooking them with sage or soda is said to limit this annoying side effect. I don’t have a problem personally, but if anyone cares to share with us some other tips on how to best prepare it, this would do a great deal to promote this underrated yet delicious root vegetable.

Mini Scallop Burger:
(8 pieces)

- 8 medium-sized scallops (with or without the coral)
- 1 quarter of a pumpkin
- 8 slices of white bread

For the sauce:
- Blanched almonds
- 10 parsley leaves
- 1 handful Mache (lamb’s lettuce)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- Salt and pepper (+ a bit of hot chilli powder if you wish)

For the Jerusalem artichokes crisps:
- 3 Jerusalem artichokes
- frying oil

Start with the crisps. Wash and scratch the Jerusalem artichokes, then cut them into thin round slices using a mandolin cutter.
When the oil is hot, fry them for a couple of minutes, then remove and soak.

With a round cookies cutter, cut out 8 pieces in the pumpkin (you should cut to a larger diameter than your scallops and they should be about 5 mm thick. Place them in a steamer until they start to become soft but not squishy. Put aside.

For the sauce, mix together all the ingredients. You may need to pound the almonds in a mortar if you don’t trust your food mixer to do it for you. Add salt and pepper at the end.

Press down the sliced bread using a rolling pin and using the same cookies cutter (or one slightly larger), cut out 16 pieces of bread. Toast them in a large pan or using a toaster.

Cook the scallops in a pan for 45 seconds on each side then season with salt and pepper.

You can now assemble your burgers: a slice of bread, a bit of sauce, the pumpkin, the scallop and another slice of bread over the top.
Place the crisps on the side, and season to your taste.

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