Cooking Like a Chef!! (Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Bacon, Lentils and Cider Reduction)
This recipe is ideal for a special romantic evening or for impressing your guests. It has mild flavors, amazing textures and has sofisticated touches with the mascarpone cream and cider reduction but it is yet simple to do and with handy ingredients and has a relative normal cost.
The recipe calls for lentils du puy which are lighter than other lentils, but I have made it with red lentils and turned out great too.
Small flat circular shape, dark speckles on a dark brown seed coat; yellow cotyledon.
Du Puy lentils are named after Le Puy in Auvergne, in the center of France.
Le Puy lentils have a delicate taste, a fine green skin with steel blue speckles. They are excellent in salads and vegetable dishes.
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
2 cups apple cider
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped shallots
6 whole cloves
1 medium onion, peeled
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups French green lentils (lentilles du Puy; about 12 ounces)
2 bay leaves
6 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise ÿ inch thick
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
6 tablespoons butter, divided
18 sea scallops, patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
For mascarpone cream:
Place wine and shallots in heavy small saucepan. Boil until almost dry, about 6 minutes. Add cream. Boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in mascarpone, lemon peel, and chives. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to small bowl; cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
For cider reduction:Place cider, vinegar, and shallots in heavy medium saucepan. Boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Strain; discard solids in strainer. Return cider mixture to pan. DO AHEAD: Cider reduction can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
For lentils: Press thin end of cloves into peeled onion. Place onion in heavy large saucepan. Add 6 cups water, lentils, and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.Meanwhile, cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Pour all but 3 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add shallots to skillet and sauté over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes.Drain lentils, discarding onion and bay leaves. Add reserved bacon, lentils, and thyme to shallots. DO AHEAD: Lentils can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring often.For scallops:Bring cider reduction to simmer. Whisk in 5 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep warm.Season scallops with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side.Divide lentils among 6 plates. Arrange 3 scallops atop lentils on each plate. Drizzle cider reduction over scallops and around lentils. Drizzle warm mascarpone cream over.