Thursday, March 6, 2008

Seared Scallops atop Piquillo Pepper Coulis with Cilantro Lime Sauce


1 Lbs Scallops
½ Onion
5 Piquillo Peppers or 2 Roasted Red Peppers
1 ½ Cloves Garlic
2 Pinches of Salt
1 Tbls Butter
Salt & Pepper
Thick palmful of Cilantro, stems and leaves
½ cup Fage Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
Juice of 1 Lime


  1. Finely dice up the onion, garlic and peppers.
  2. Coulis: Heat butter up in a skillet with low-med heat and add the onions. Cover pan for 10 minutes. Uncover and add salt. Sweat for 3 minutes. Add garlic and peppers. Sweat for 5 more minutes. If at this point there is remaining liquid from the onions and peppers increase the heat slightly and watch carefully until there is no more liquid left in the skillet. Reserve and keep warm.
  3. Creamy Cilantro: Greek yogurt is probably the healthiest option but heavy cream can be subbed and it’s great. In a blender add the cilantro, lime, 2 pinches of salt and yogurt and blend. The consistency should be thick and it will taste tart and sour; this serves to cut the buttery flavor of the coulis and scallops. Add more cilantro or yogurt if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep chilled.
  4. To Serve: Heat up a skillet and add 2 tbls of butter on med heat. Once melted and beginning to bubble or pop add the scallops slowly one at a time. The pan will cool down quickly if you add them all at once and the scallops will not brown as evenly. Sear the scallops until golden brown on the bottom, appx 5-8 minutes depending on heat. Reheat the coulis and add to the plates. Place the scallops on top and drip the creamy cilantro on top.

Composed Salads

Composed Salads

Every night at Sfoglia NYC there is an Antipasti Della Casa comprised of 3 different items, 2 are usually composed salads and it’s a great item to share. We used to make a plate of composed salads at FCI as well and they were fun, great to snack on plus it’s an easy way to experiment with new flavor profiles. The salads below could work individually as appetizers, side dishes or served with a protein. A good combo could be the cauliflower salad underneath a piece of seared halibut or cod with an olive tapenade or the radish salad underneath bacon wrapped scallops. The apple, rosemary, parmesan combination was the brainchild of my brilliant gourmand gal one morning when we made crepes. It is an awesome combo and could easily be the star of any dessert tart or ice cream flavor (minus the celery and olive oil). It’s also a super refreshing salad.

½ Head of Cauliflower
Olive Oil
¾ Cup Whole Almonds
¾ Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted
3 sprigs of Thyme
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon
Salt & Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Break off florets of cauliflower and place in a bowl. Drizzle enough oil to lightly coat the florets, add 2 pinches of salt and toss in a mixing bowl. Roast for 15 minutes. When finished place in a bowl.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting add 1 tsp of olive oil to a skillet. Heat for a minute and add the almonds. Add 2 pinches of salt. Coat evenly and heat until the skin starts to pop from the almonds or until they are a darker brown. Place in a bowl, add a pinch of black pepper and allow to cool.
  4. Dice up the thyme, olives and almonds (once cool) and juice the lemon if you are using fresh. Combine the olives and almonds with the cauliflower.
  5. Vinaigrette: Add the lemon and thyme to a bowl. In a slow steady, stream add 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil and whisk. Add some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust. Taste and adjust.
  6. Mix everything up and serve.

3 Radishes
Bacon, 2 crispy strips
1/3 cup Almonds, toasted
1/3 cup Cranberries, diced coarsely
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

  1. Cook the bacon until crispy. Lay on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the grease. Let cool.
  2. Prepare the almonds as described in the above procedure
  3. Dice up the cranberries, radishes and bacon.
  4. Combine all ingredients with ginger vinaigrette (Store bought is fine, the Paul Newman’s is good but I prefer the Japanese orangey looking ones, Annie’s has a good one and Makoto). Taste and adjust.

1 Macintosh Apple
1 Stalk of celery, peeled
Parmesan Cheese
1/8 tsp fresh Rosemary (1/4 if you are using dried)
Lemon or Lime
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. Peel the apple. Use a melon-baller to get rounds and drizzle a enough lemon juice to coat (this prevents the apples from turning brown for an extended period of time). Reserve.
  2. Rinse and peel the celery stalk. Slice very thin.
  3. Vinaigrette: finely chop enough rosemary to yield a generous 1/8 tsp. Add to lemon or lime and whisk in olive oil in a slow and steady fashion.
  4. Combine all the ingredients together and dust with parmesan cheese.