Seared scallops, pomegranate and Brioche French toast 

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Here’s a gourmet and festive recipe for preparing scallops in an original and beautifully presented way! The acidity of the pomegranate and the sweetness of the brioche combine perfectly with the seared scallops, for a savory dish with a hint of sweetness.

You can serve this dish as an appetizer, or accompany it with gourmet vegetables to make a festive dish (for example, leek fondue and parsnip purée).

Seared scallops, pomegranate and Brioche French toast

Servings 4
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 small or medium-sized scallops
  • 2 shallots
  • 50 cl pomegranate juice or 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 4 thin slices of brioche or 8 round brioche toasts
  • 1 egg
  • 150 ml milk
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Oil
  • Butter
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • A few slivered and roasted pistachios
  • Rosemary and thyme
  • ½ butternut squash top part – optional

Instructions

Pomegranate sauce

  • If you don’t have pomegranate molasses ready to use (you can find it in oriental or Iranian grocery stores), start with this step.
  • Pour the pomegranate juice and sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling, continue cooking over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring regularly. The aim is to obtain a syrup.
  • To know when to stop cooking: the syrup should thicken and coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to thicken the mixture too much, as the syrup will continue to thicken as it cools. If it cooks too long, it will become sticky like caramel (which you can dilute with a little pomegranate juice if necessary). Therefore, as soon as the juice starts to coat your spoon, you can stop cooking and reserve the molasses.
  • Finely chop the 2 shallots and set aside.

Roasted butternut slices (optional)

  • Use the top part (i.e. the cylindrical, thinner part) of a butternut squash. Rinse and remove the skin. Cut into slices about 5 mm thick. Depending on the size of your brioche slices, allow 1 to 2 slices per person.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper and arrange the slices. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and sprinkle with thyme and rosemary.
  • Bake at 200°C for 20 to 25 minutes. Check if it’s cooked with the blade of a knife and continue cooking for a few minutes if necessary.
  • Set aside and keep warm, or reheat for ten minutes before serving.

Brioche French toast (to be prepared just before serving)

  • In a bowl, beat one egg with the milk. Add pepper to taste.
  • If you're using large slices of brioche, you can use a round cookie cutter to cut them into a disk (for a nice presentation). Quickly dip the brioche slices in the egg + milk mixture, and brown with butter in a frying pan on both sides.
  • Set aside and keep warm in the oven.

Preparing the scallops

  • Prepare the scallops. Remove moisture from both sides by pressing paper towel on the flesh gently with your fingers or a fork.
  • Heat some oil (olive or grapeseed) in a frying pan and fry the scallops for a few minutes on each side (approx. 4-5 min.), browning each side. Start with the first side, and after a few minutes, add a generous knob of butter (optional, if you don’t like the taste of butter). The scallops should remain tender: you can always open one in half to check if it’s cooked enough.* Keep them warm.
  • * If you prepare your scallops in advance, brown them on one side only and finish cooking in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes at 200°C before serving.
  • Finish the sauce by frying diced shallots in the same pan as the scallops, with a knob of butter. Brown for 3 minutes, then add the pomegranate molasses. Cook uncovered over high heat for ⅘ mn, stirring occasionally. During this time, start the dressing process.

Presentation

  • Start by arranging one or two slices of warm butternut on each plate (optional).
  • Place a slice of brioche on each butternut slice (or directly on the plate).
  • Arrange 2 or 3 scallops on top, depending on their size.
  • Strain the sauce and coat the scallops with it.
  • Add a few pistachio slivers, a pinch of salt and serve immediately.
  • If you have a fresh pomegranate, feel free to add a few pomegranate seeds to your plate.

Notes

Alternatives
You can replace the pomegranate with another fruit to bring a touch of sweetness and acidity, such as passion fruit or mango puree, or even apricot (and why not add a touch of saffron to the sauce – it goes very well with apricot!).
You can also replace the pistachio slivers with lightly roasted pine nuts or roasted buckwheat seeds.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean

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