Hello, friends! While I am taking a short little break to spend some time with my family, please enjoy some of the fabulous guest posts I have planned for you. Today, DJ from DJFoodie is sharing a delicious recipe for Seared Scallops with Almond-Parsnip Mash and Blackberry Beurre Rouge. If you have never had parsnip mash, you really have to try it. And the blackberry sauce in this recipe is to die for. Be sure to stop by and check out his site, full of creative and low-carb recipes.
It’s always fun to do a guest post for another website. I knew Katja was taking a vacation and being a real foods website, I proposed an idea I had and she liked it!
What follows is kind of an interesting Scallop dish. It doesn’t look like much food, but it’s actually QUITE filling, with loads of quality fats! If you were to give about half as much of the Parsnip Mash and cut it to about 3 scallops, it would make for a BEAUTIFUL appetizer!
Because the recipe, itself, is actually 3 different recipes … I’m just going to get right into it!
Blackberry Beurre Rouge
A Beurre Rouge (Red Butter) is a butter sauce made almost entirely from butter! Its origin is France and the method is essentially reducing red wine, to really concentrate the flavors. Once the wine is very dark burgundy, thick and flavorful, cold butter is then whisked into the hot wine, carefully and methodically, so that the sauce emulsifies and thickens, rather than turning into a purple oil slick, with some wine in it.
I’ve left the sauce relatively pure, short of the addition of fresh blackberries to the reduction. This will add a bit more brilliance to the color, while also adding some sweet and a bit more character! Also, traditionally, there is no cream in the sauce. I’ve added it to this sauce, because the homogenized cream helps the emulsion (something of “Culinary Training Wheels”). Feel free to leave it out, but … if you do, whisk quickly and with singularity of purpose!
- 1 shallots, minced
- 1/2 cup good quality red wine
- 1/2 cup fresh blackberries, washed
- 1 tbsp homogenized heavy cream (optional)
- 1/4 cup (4 oz.) fresh grass-fed butter, cut into about 12 small cubes
- Celtic sea salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add shallots, wine, blackberries and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir regularly, while the liquid reduces to a fairly thick and lumpy syrup, roughly 1/4 cup in volume.
- Add the 1 tbsp of optional cream.
- Over low heat, add the first cube of butter, whisking it consistently through the warm syrup. You never want the butter to sit in one spot long enough for the fat to “pool”. You want it to continue moving and gliding through the sauce. Once the first cube of butter is almost completely melted, add the second cube of butter and continue whisking. Once the second cube of butter is almost melted, add the third cube. Continue in this manner, until all the butter is used and you have a lovely thick and purple sauce. Taste it and adjust the seasoning with some salt and pepper.
- Strain the blackberry seeds from the sauce and set in a warm place (a good one is to place it in a bowl with a warm wet towel beneath it). Then, place the sauce in a container above the warm wet towel. You want to keep the sauce warm, but if it’s too hot, it will break. Gentle and warm … like a baby’s bottle.
Almond Meal absorbs warm water, much in the same way that polenta might. Therefore, it’s kind of a fun ingredient to play with, but too much almond meal is akin to eating 100 nuts … all at once! While those are delicious and tasty fats, it makes sense to add something to the almonds, to add body and some character. I thought that parsnips made for a fun addition and a nice paring with the blackberries and almonds!
- 1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup blanched almond meal (this is the brand I use)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup (4 oz.) butter
- Celtic sea salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small pot, over medium heat, add the parsnips, almond meal, milk, water and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir, and place a lid on the pot. Allow it to simmer until the parsnips steam and soften.
- Mash, puree or rice the mixture with the fresh butter. This can be done with a fork, or mashing tool (for a rustic appearance), a food processor, for a smooth appearance, or a rice, for a pleasant consistent look and texture, with a touch of graininess. There is no one “correct” method. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Adjust consistency by adding a bit of warm milk to thin, should you choose to.
- Set aside in a warm place.
Seared Scallops w/ Almond-Parsnip Mash & Blackberry Beurre Rouge
Finally, we have the assembly of the dish. Once the Beurre Rouge and Mashed Parsnips are being held warm, it’s time to finish the dish. This is INCREDIBLY quick and easy and really only requires scallops, sage, blackberries, butter and toasted almonds! This part goes really quickly! When you’re done, the scallops should be a beautifully seared medium-rare. From there, simply assemble the plate and serve!
- 20 jumbo sea scallops
- 1 tbsp olive oil (where to buy good quality olive oil)
- 20 nice blackberries
- 2 fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced and divided
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp grass fed butter
- Celtic sea salt and pepper
- Pre-heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. You really need to make sure there is space between each scallop in the pan (Don’t crowd the pans!). As a result, you may need 2 pans over medium-high heat. If you crowd the pan, they won’t sear. Instead, they’ll just simmer, the juices will come out and you’ll have pasty white erasers. It’s crucial that the pans be hot and that there is plenty of space for the scallops to sear, without bumping into one another and/or cooling down the pan.
- Rub the scallops with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place the scallops evenly around the pan(s), with the flat sides down. Allow them to sit and sear for about 2 minutes, picking up a nice caramelization. Ad this point, add the butter and let it melt around the pan (trying not to disturb the scallops).
- After they are nicely colored, flip them over and start searing the other side. Also, add the blackberries, half the sage leaves and the toasted almonds. Allow the pan to sit and continue searing for about 2 more minutes.
- Place a nice dollop of the mash in the center of each of 4 plates. Drizzle a healthy amount of the Beurre Rouge around the dollops. Then, remove the scallops from the pan and quickly place 5 of them around each dollop of mash. Garnish each plate with the warm blackberry and almond mixture. Finally, sprinkle a bit of the fresh sage around the plates. Serve!
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I’m a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY. I have worked under some of the best chefs within the United States: in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Vail, CO. While I am extremely able to create food, I somehow missed the lesson on “eating” food. For me, it was anything, anywhere, at any time. In early 2010, I had ballooned to 352 lbs and was certain I’d developed diabetes. Life wasn’t good. I read a book promoting a real food, mostly raw, mostly vegetarian diet, at a time I was willing to listen. This started a journey, which has taken me through a variety of eating styles.
Since then, I’ve lost a total of 142 lbs. I am still losing, but slowly. In the interim, I have gained more than I could have ever imagined.
In response to the ubiquitous question, “How’d you do that?!” … I have started a blog, located at DJFoodie.com. My blog is devoted entirely to that question. Near 400 recipes strong, with a new one added regularly, I share my adventures in the kitchen and my life in a lighthearted and humorous manner.
Today, I eat copious amounts of bacon, loads of meats, vegetables and a wide assortment of other ingredients. I focus on lower carb, but also focus a lot of interesting cooking techniques and creative flavor combinations. Regardless of your food preferences, there is a lot of quality information that can be applied to your own food preferences. Take what works … and leave the rest behind! Come check me out and say, “Hi!”