What's Cooking: Scallops and Risotto - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

What's Cooking: Scallops and Risotto

What's Cooking -- January 20, 2012

Chef Robert Barral from Cafe Provence in Brandon joins us this morning with a tasty dinner dish.

Seared Asparagus Speared Scallops on saffron risotto, basil & garlic lobster broth

Recipe for 4 people


12 scallops 20-30ct

1 bunch Asparagus (medium)

3 oz Vegetable oil


2 cups Arborio Rice

1 pinch Saffron

½ Spanish onion

½ cup White wine

2 quarts Water or vegetable stock

1 cup Heavy cream

½ cup Fresh spinach

½ cup Asiago cheese

2 cups Tomato filets


½ cup Diced Spanish onion

10 oz Lobster broth

2 tsp chopped garlic

3 oz vegetable oli

2 oz Butter

½ Lemon juice

Lobster broth:

2 heads of Lobster shells

½ Onions

1 Carrot

5 Whole cloves of garlic

2 sticks of Celery

1 small can Tomato paste

1 cup White wine

1 bunch fresh basil

Chop the raw lobster shells and sear them in a pot with smoky hot vegetable oil. Make sure the carcasses are red on all sides then add the chopped vegetables and keep searing in the oil with the lobster carcasses until they get a little bit of color then deglaze with white wine. Reduce the wine then cover the carcasses with water. Add the tomato paste, the salt and let simmer very gently for 45 minutes. At the end of the cooking process, strain the liquid out of the pot, (remove lobster carcasses and vegetables and only save the broth). Steep one bunch of basil for thirty minutes or until broth gets cold. Remove basil and store until ready to use.

Prep the scallops:

Blanch the asparagus in a boiling pot of water with salt. As soon as cooked shock them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Cut the asparagus on the bias in two pieces long enough to go through the scallops and show enough of it on both sides.

Take a skewer or a pair of tweezers to go through the scallops from the side. Once the whole in the scallop is made penetrate the scallop by the end of the asparagus and push it in until both sides are equally sticking out. Repeat until all scallops are ready. (3 scallops per person).

Make the saffron risotto:

Steep the saffron in a cup with white wine. (Saffron will soften up and releases its flavor better this way). Sweat the diced onions in a pot with vegetable oil until translucent. Deglaze with white wine, let it cook for a couple of minutes then add the rice. Mix well with the onions and start adding the hot liquid to cover the rice. Boil until almost completely evaporated then add more and repeat the same thing until the rice is cooked and doesn't take more liquid.

Finish the risotto with the heavy cream, baby spinach Asiago cheese salt and pepper.

Keep the risotto hot.

Make the sauce:

Place the crushed tomatoes, garlic and lobster broth in a pan, add the salt and bring to the boil for short period of time, just enough to cook the chopped garlic. Add a small piece of butter and a few drops of lemon.

Finish the dish:

Place the scallops on a piece of paper towel to absorb unnecessary moisture. In the meantime Heat the oil in a pan. As soon as it is smoking hot place the scallops in the pan and cook them until both sides are golden brown and the center still soft and moist.

Place the saffron risotto in the center of the bowl. The three scallops nicely arranged on top then ladle the sauce all around the risotto. Finish the dish by placing more asparagus pieces in the sauce as a garnish and serve immediately.

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