Pan-seared Scallops with Zucchini and Summer Squash, Cheddar Grits Soufflé, and Salmon Roe Butter Sauce
Guillermo Thomas takes the South’s humble grits and gives them a maximum upgrade to accompany seared scallops and pretty roses made of summer squashes. There are many parts of this recipe, like the grits souffle, which could spin off to accompany another dish.
- White Cheddar Grits Soufflé
- Unsalted Butter - 1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick)
- Garlic - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Shallot - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Fresh Rosemary - 1⁄2 teaspoon chopped
- Milk - 2 cups
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- Salt - 1⁄2 teaspoon
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1⁄4 teaspoon
- Stone-ground Grits - 1 cup
- Egg Yolk - 1
- White Cheddar Cheese - 1 cup, grated sharp
- Egg Whites - 3
- Cream of Tartar - 1⁄4 teaspoon
- Vegetable oil spray
- Salmon Roe Butter Sauce
- White Wine - 1 cup
- Champagne Vinegar - 1⁄4 cup
- Fresh Thyme - 1 sprig
- Fresh Tarragon - 1 sprig
- Fresh Italian parsley - 1 sprig
- Shallot - 1 tablespoon, roughly chopped
- Lemons - 3, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
- Heavy Cream - 1⁄2 cup
- Cold Unsalted butter - 1 cup (2 sticks), very cold, cut into small pieces
- Salt - 1⁄4 teaspoon
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1⁄2 teaspoon
- Zucchini and Summer Squash Roses
- Aluminum Foil Squares - four, 6-inch
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Zucchini - 2 medium, sliced diagonally 1⁄8 inch thick
- Summer Squash - 2 medium, sliced diagonally 1⁄8 inch thick
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Sea Scallops - 1 pound
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 1 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Salmon Roe - 2 ounces
- Fresh Chives - 1 tablespoon, chopped
To cook the grits: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallot, and rosemary, and sauté 1 minute. Add the milk, stock, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Slowly pour in the grits, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir so the grits do not settle to the bottom and burn. In about 5 minutes the grits will plump up and become a thick mass. Continue to cook the grits for a total of about 12 minutes, stirring frequently. The grits should have absorbed all of the water and become soft. Transfer the grits to clean container and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the grits at high speed about 8 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and cheese and continue to whip 1 minute.
In a separate bowl of the electric mixer using a whip attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Immediately fold the whites into the grits mixture. Liberally coat four 4-ounce souffle dishes with vegetable oil spray. Pour the grits into the souffle dishes. Place the souffle dish in a baking pan and pour in warm water halfway up the sides of the soufflé cups. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the soufflés have risen and are slightly browned.
To make the salmon roe butter sauce: In a small saucepan combine the wine, vinegar, herbs, shallot, and lemon, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced by half. Add the cream, bring back to a boil, and reduce again by half. Over very low heat whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, completely incorporating each piece before adding the next. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan. Keep warm on the back of the stove.
To make zucchini and squash roses: Preheat the broiler. Lightly butter four 6-inch squares of aluminum foil. Arrange the zucchini and summer squash on the foil in a circular pattern, overlapping each piece and alternating colors. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place under the broiler until vegetables are a light golden brown, about 3 minutes.
To cook the scallops and assemble the dish: Place a large, dry, nonstick saute pan or skillet over high heat for 3 minutes. Add the oil and butter and heat until very hot. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and place in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. If necessary, cook the scallops in 2 batches. Sear the scallops on one side for about 2 minutes, then turn them with tongs and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Remove the scallops from the pan and set aside.
To finish the dish: Slide the zucchini/squash roses off the foil onto the center of the serving plates. Run a knife around the edges of the soufflés to loosen them from their molds, and remove by turning over onto the center of the dish. Add the salmon roe and 11⁄2 tablespoons of the chives to the warm butter sauce, and spoon around the soufflé. Place the scallops on top of the sauce and garnish with the remaining chopped chives.