Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Curry-Dusted Scallops with Fennel Apple Broth

This past Christmas Brett gave me a Kindle Fire, and one of best parts about the little portable guy is being able to read magazines.  My favorite, other than the New Yorker, is my subscription to Bon Appetit.  At first their app was just basically reading a PDF, which was pretty not fun, but now they've upgraded to this more interactive magazine format.  It's really inexpensive, so I'd recommend anyone out there with a Fire to subscribe.

Anyway, this all leads me to stumbling upon their curry-dusted scallops with fennel apple broth.  A while ago I had taken my first dive into cooking scallops, but this was a really different recipe.  So I tested it out on some of my guinea pigs.  My aunt, who recently moved to DC, wanted to come over for dinner.  I had also never really cooked for her (other than at big family functions), so I was excited to have her over and wanted to impress.  Although..... it should be noted that my aunt is awesome, and would probably have loved if I served her cardboard.  BUT this recipe is not cardboard.  

The result of the recipe was a light and complex dish.  None of the ingredients overwhelm, and I think all of the pieces really work together.  I would absolutely make this again, especially as a course for a dinner party.  

And look, it's so freakin pretty!

Adapted from Bon Appetit. 

1 medium fennel bulb
2 medium tart apples
4 cups apple cider
2 medium shallots, sliced
12 large sea scallops, side muscle removed, patted dry
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 t curry powder
2 t olive oil
1/2 t apple cider vinegar
1 T chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 250°.   Pat the scallops dry and leave to dry on a paper towel.

Core the apple and cut the it into about 2" chunks. 

Trim stalks and fronds (the fringey part of the vegetable) from fennel.  Set the fennel bulb aside.  

Slice the shallots and  put the fennel, apple and the apple in a saucepan.

Add the apple cider.  Bring to a boil over high heat. 

Once it boils, reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 2 1/4 cups.

Pour the mixture through a sieve over a medium sized bowl.  Keep the liquid and discard the apple, shallots, and fennel. 

Halve the fennel bulb through the core and thinly slice crosswise. Peel, core, and cut remaining apple into about 1/3" cubes.

Season scallops with salt and pepper. On a plate, disperse the curry powder and dip each flat side of each scallop in the curry powder.  Leave on another plate while the oil is heated.

Heat 1 T of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook until browned and just opaque in the center, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the scallops to a baking sheet and put the scallops in oven to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 T of oil, sliced fennel, and apple cubes to the pan and sautee until the apple and fennel begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add fennel-apple broth and remaining 1/2 t curry powder. Increase the heat to high and boil until mixture thickens slightly and measures 2 C, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 t vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Divide broth mixture among shallow soup bowls. Add scallops and sprinkle chopped chives on the scallops.  Enjoy warm!

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