|Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Butternut Squash Purée and Beurre Fondue|
I was never happy with the first scallops dish I prepared for this website. Call this dish a 'Do-Over', however this time, I thought I'd use a purée of a seasonal vegetable and, given my struggles with broken sauces earlier this year, I wanted to practice my execution of a butter sauce.
Speaking of this particular butter sauce, the concept is very similar to a beurre blanc which I prepared earlier this year, only with different ingredients. In fact, the word 'fondue' translates to melted.
In addition to improving a dish I published earlier, I had also taken on the concept of a butter sauce from a source that didn't utilize an exact recipe.
I adapted the purée from foodnetwork.com and the beurre fondue from pages 76 through 77 of Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Siverbush and Sean Fri.
1 2-pound butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and strings removed
12 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
12 U-15 sea scallops
Alfalfa sprouts, for garnsh
1. Roast the butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Take 1 tablespoon butter and rub the flesh of each squash half with it, then season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves on a parchment or aluminum foil lined sheet pan and roast in the oven until fork tender, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
2. Prepare the beurre fondue while the squash roasts. In a small saucepan, bring about 12-inch of water to a simmer. Whisk in the 12 tablespoons butter in 1/2 tablespoon portions, adding the next portion after the one in the pan has melted. Small droplets of oil might appear which indicates the water is evaporating. If this occurs, add a small amount of warm water. Once the butter has been added, season with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat until ready to plate.
3. Finish the dish. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the scallops and sear on one side only, approximately 1 minute. Remove to a plate to allow for carryover cooking. Once the butternut squash is finished, scoop out the flesh and place into a blender with the honey, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Purée the squash, adding up to 2 tablespoons olive oil to loosen the mixture, if necessary. To plate, spoon some beurre fondue onto a warmed plate, top with 3 to 4 scallops. Spoon some purée beside the scallops and garnish with alfalfa sprouts.
The butternut squash purée was sweeter than I expected with the addition of honey into it. and the sauce didn't separate. All in all, it was a very balanced plate of food. No brown bag leftovers for Mrs. Stuntman, however. because of the foul odor seafood leaves in the break room at the office.