LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT seeks to have tasty, healthy, efficient meals. We shoot for under 30 minutes of preparation time but will extend that depending on the tastiness. Here I post what I think is the best of the week.
Recipe of the Week
1 medium carrot
1/3 cup of 100% carrot juice
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of Tamari sauce
1/3 cup of peach preserves
1/2 cup of dry cooking sherry
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1/2 pound of fresh jumbo dry scallops
3 ounces of thin sliced prosciutto
4 ounces of goat cheese
1 peach in small 1/2” wedges
1 red pepper from jar grilled, peeled, seeded and cored (better if fresh but I went for time savings).
2 rounds of 6” pita bread
1. Assemble all the ingredients. Pre-heat the oven broiler to high with a shelf on the top and middle. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack for toasting the pita.
2. Peel and slice the carrot into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place into a blender or food processor with the carrot juice and puree.
This is where I ran into my first hiccup. I guess I figured since the button said liquefy I could make carrot juice out of carrots. All it did was make little tiny chunks, so I added 100% carrot juice to give the blades slurry with better results.
3. Heat a skillet on high heat with the canola oil until just prior to smoking. Sear the scallops until brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
4. Combine in a medium bowl 2 tablespoons of the carrot puree, peach preserves, brown sugar, and tamari sauce.
5. Dump extra oil out of the hot skillet. Pour in the cooking sherry; reduce and scrape any seared scallop off the bottom. When the sherry has reduced to about a quarter, pour in the bowl of carrot, peach preserves, brown sugar, and tamari. Continue to reduce until sauce thickens and turns darker, about 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat, stir frequently. Set aside.
6. Cut the scallops into approximately one half by three quarter inch cubes. Depending on the size of the scallop this is probably about sixths. Place the pieces on a plate and brush them with the peach carrot glaze. Tear pieces of the prosciutto into roughly 2”x2” squares and wrap each scallop. Place each prosciutto-scallop wrap, seam down, on a 1”x1” piece of the red pepper in a small baking pan and then brush generously with glaze.
This is the second area where I went wrong. I initially had larger pieces of scallops and had a good chuckle as Lisa tried to muck down a “bite” size piece of the final product. Several iterations revealed the best size.
7. Separate the pita pockets horizontally in to two round halves, like a mini-single layer pizza crust.
Adapting on the fly and learning was key for this step. We tried the pita toasted several ways, whole, quartered, etc., but found that the best taste was with a pita that was broiled crispy like a cracker as a single layer sheet.
8. Place the prosciutto wrapped scallops on the top rack and the pita on the pizza stone. Keep an eye on them both so as not to burn either. Broil the scallops until the prosciutto starts to brown crystallizing the glaze as the pita toasts light brown. The scallops should be done first in about 2-3 minutes with the pita done shortly after.
9. Remove the scallops and pitas from the oven. Cut the pita into sixths. Smear a thin layer of goat cheese on the pita then stack with the peaches and prosciutto-scallops held together with a toothpick. Variations included peppers, peaches, or pears.
Final assembly took several iterations and experiments to see what we liked best. At first we just used warmed pita, red peppers and the prosciutto wrapped scallop but the pita was too gooey and didn’t add to the appetizer. Here we adapted on the fly and decided to toast the pita until crispy like a cracker then spread a layer of goat cheese on before adding the prosciutto-scallop. Bingo! This was the taste I was looking for. Here I tried several iterations with and without the pepper, then tried the sliced peaches as a replacement to the pepper. What we finally liked best was the toasted crunchy pita, goat cheese, sliced peach and glazed prosciutto scallop.
As a final note, although I didn’t have the time to try this, I believe the absolute best combo would include caramelized baked peaches.