It was the starter that stole the showin this meal. Last Saturday, Project Last Suppoer continued featuring the selections of Chef Tom Aikens, an English-born chef with 3 restaurants in London. His menu was quite lengthy so I chose a selection: his recipe for Scallops with Sauce Vierge, which is featured in My Last Supper, Dover Sole in Brown Butter with Capers, Thick-cut potato wedges, a green salad with French vinaigrette and last but not least, Mom's apple pie. He probably meant his Mom's but lacking her recipe, I went with my Mom's and it never fails.
I found the biggest freshest sea scallo0ps at a local Kings supermarket. Those of you who know me are thinking, "But you don't like scallops..." I liked these! The sauce was delicious and I cooked them probably a little more than some chefs would but they were moist and perfect. Jeff claims they're the best scallops he ever had! I put the recipe below as I prepared it.
The sole was fresh caught as well and was very simple with the brown butter and capers and some lemon. The potatoes I tossed with a little EVOO and some of Penzey's 4S Seasoned Salt. The salad was a mix of spring greens with a bit of celery and fennel. I dressed with a simple French vinaigrette made from lemon juice, shallots, whole grain dijon mustard, EVOO, salt and pepper.
We finished with a slice of apple pie. For the first time I even used my Mom's recipe for crust. It's not as flaky as hers, but I'll keep practicing!
Now for those scallops:
Tom Aikens' Scallops with Sauce Vierge (my slightly modified version, but you'll have to check the book to see what I changed)
1/3 cup plus 6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 shallots, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 cup fish stock
1-2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped in a 1/2 inch dice
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
Pinch of dry or fresh tarragon (you can put 1 tsp if you like, but tarragon isn't our favorite)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
6 extra large sea scallops
1 tsp. butter
To prepare the sauce:
In a large saute pan, heat 3 Tbsp. of the oil over low heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until tender. Add the fish stock and reduce the liquid by two-thirds. Add the 1/3 cup of olive oil, tomatoes, and the lemon juice (and if using dried tarragon, add it at this time; otherwise wait til the fresh herbs are added at the end) and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Season generously withsalt and pepper.
Prepare the scallops:
While the sauce is simmering, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a saute pan over high heat. Add the scallops and cooks for 1 minute on each side, then add the butter and toss the scallops in the butter until they are golden all over and cooked to your liking.
Spoon the sauce into the bottom of the plates or dishes and place 2-3 scallops on top.
Last Supper Count: 4 done; 36 more to go. Up next: Guillaume Brahimi or Nancy Silverton. Either way, delicious beef!