Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Supper #4: Tom Aikens

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)
Serves 2-3
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.
To serve:
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!

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