Basil Crusted Scallops with Citrus Aioli and Citrus Dust


Basil Crusted Scallops with Citrus Aioli and Citrus Dust

I always think of scallops when I am planning a special meal for the one that I love.  There is something about the sweet and tender bite of a scallop that I find, well, really romantic.  So this week I am sharing my recipe for Basil Crusted Scallops with Citrus Aioli and Citrus Dust.  If you are not planning to go out for dinner this year, make these for the love of your life on Valentine’s Day.

Basil Crusted Scallops with Citrus Aioli and Citrus Dust (Makes 10 Scallops)

Ingredients/Basil Crusted Scallops
10 10/20 scallops in dry pack
1 bunch fresh basil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves
kosher salt
white pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp amaranth leaf pieces

Method/Basil Crusted Scallops
Remove the connecting muscle from the side of each scallop. Lightly chop the basil in a food processor. Add the garlic, then slowly add panko bread crumbs to create basil crumbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss the scallops in the crumb mixture and lightly press crumbs onto each scallop so it’s well coated. Place the scallops on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 350º for 12 minutes or until scallops are cooked through and tender. Hold no longer than 5 minutes before service.

Ingredients/Citrus Aioli
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/4 cup hot water
2 garlic cloves
2 egg yolks
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
kosher salt
1/2 orange, juiced
3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
water as needed to thin

Method/Citrus Aioli
Steep the saffron in hot water for 3 minutes; remove using a small strainer. Put saffron, garlic, egg yolks, almonds, salt and orange juice into a blender and blend. Drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Set aside.

Ingredients/Citrus Dust
1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Method/Citrus Dust
Remove the rinds from the citrus and dry them in a dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator, put the rinds on a sheet pan and keep in a 125º oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the rinds to dry in the closed oven for 8 hours, until they are dry and brittle. Put the dried citrus rinds, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until it turns to powder. Pass the powder through a fine China cap or sieve to get a fine texture. Set aside.

Put a scallop in the bottom of each cup. Pipe a small dollop of Citrus Aioli on top, dust with Citrus Dust, then top with an amaranth leaf.

Chef Notes
You can use mayonnaise as the base for the aioli to save time. Use a cup of mayonnaise, add saffron prepared the way the recipe shows and finish with a touch of citrus such as orange, lemon and lime. Instead of making the Citrus Dust from scratch, you can purchase a flavored dust from a number of online companies.
Instead of amaranth leaves, you can use beet micro greens for their red color.

The crust on this works well with many kinds of fish. Try orange roughy or halibut.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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