Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot at Ideas in Food have created the perfect scallop recipe, it appears in their book by the same name that was released last year.
For this dish I used U-10 (unit of measurement indicated there are under 10 per pound) dry-packed sea scallops. I removed the “foot” from the scallop and reserved it for use in the reduction for the butter sauce. The scallops were brined for ten minutes in a 5% sea salt-water solution, so for every 20 grams of water you will add 1 gram of sea salt. The quick brine adds flavor and slightly firms the scallops.
The scallops were then removed from the brine and laid end-to-end and wrapped in plastic wrap just as a terrine would be, creating a log shape. This gives the scallops a great shape and results in the scallops having more height and uniformity in the final product. The “logs” of wrapped scallops were then placed in cryovac bags and cooked in the immersion circulator at 122 degrees for thirty minutes. Once they came out of the water they were placed in an ice bath to cool. At this point they can be reserved for service and held for several days in cryovac.
After removing from the cryovac bag the scallops need to be dried thoroughly before searing…excess moisture will create a barrier of steam between the pan and the scallop, preventing then from browning as desired. After drying the scallops were seasoned with freshly ground white pepper, seared quickly in a cast iron skilllet, basted with browned butter and finished with a couple flecks of sea salt.
The twice cooked scallops were served with a puree of celery root and an apple-bacon butter sauce, then garnished with Lucky Leaf Garden’s pea tendrils.
The finished product was absolutely outstanding…the scallops were tender and moist, the flavor was concentrated from the sous vide process, and the quick sear gave it outstanding color and texture.