It’s an age-old adage that you are what you eat. But I prefer to think that you are who you eat with. As my dinner parties have steadily increased (I find an excuse to host one every ten days as of late) the guest-list seems to change as readily as the menu. This month I’ve counted thirty-two different people come through the revolving door that is my apartment.
Last week it occurred to me that of the thirty-two, none were among the group of friends who pioneered the early days of my culinary endeavors. These were the girls who suffered through deflated soufflés, dry chicken, soupy ice cream, and burned popovers. Often there was enough time between courses to conduct entire dance parties. Ah, the good old days…
To remedy this, I decided to host a meal in their honor. My typical dinner fare leans toward the high-end of the caloric spectrum, but for this menu I wanted to expand my gastronomic horizons by attempting something healthy (or at least healthier). I put together the following: Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums in a Honey Balsamic Reduction, Wild Mushroom Bisque with Truffle Foam, Pan-Seared Scallops with Tomato Beurre Blanc, and Chocolate Buckwheat Cake with Burnt Orange Ice Cream.
The elegantly appointed scallops paired with rich butter sauce and topped with wasabi microgreens were a highlight of the evening, and certainly a far-cry from the hazardous attempts of dinner parties past. The best part is that of everything I made that night, this was the easiest. (In fact, in the milieu of the dinner party I forgot to photograph the final product so I quickly whipped up the dish again this afternoon).
As my friends and I ate the opulent meal and sipped our wine, we reminisced about days gone by, shared our dreams for the future, and vowed to make this a more regular gathering. I couldn’t be happier with my choice of menu for the evening, and more importantly – my choice of company. xx tt
Tomato Beurre Blanc (yields two cups)
· 2 medium-sized tomatoes
· 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
· 6 tablespoons sauvignon blanc
· 4 whole shallots
· 1 tablespoon crème fraiche (can sour cream substitute)
· 2 cups unsalted butter (keep cold until use)
· Cut tomatoes into quarters and carefully remove skin with a knife
· Dice tomato flesh
· Dice shallots
· In a large saucepan over medium-high heat bring tomatoes, shallots, vinegar, and wine to a boil
· Let boil for 5 minutes
· Add crème fraiche, let boil for 2 minutes
· Cut each butter stick into 8 pieces
· Add butter one cube at a time while stirring allowing each cube to completely dissolve before adding the next one
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Using a food processor or a hand-held immersion blender purée the beurre blanc until smooth
· Plate a few tablespoons on each plate before adding scallops
Pan-Seared Scallops (serves 4 as main dish)
· 16 scallops
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 teaspoon Tyler Florence Lemon Seafood Rub (optional)
· Wasabi microgreens (found at Whole Foods - or any microgreen/pea shoot/fresh herb to provide a little bite and aesthetic appeal)
· Rinse scallops and pat dry
· Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side, and the seafood rub on the other (or salt and pepper both sides if opting out of the seafood rub)
· Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet on high heat until steaming (but NOT blackened)
· Add scallops so that none are touching each other
· Sear each side for 2 minutes
· Place atop beurre blanc
· Sprinkle wasabi microgreens over each scallop
t+tSTYLE: In the mood for a little more scallop? Try this breathtaking scalloped giupare black lace top by Emilio Pucci.
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