Prawn and Scallop Cassoulette
This lovely dish is not technically a cassoulet, which contains white beans. No one will hold the name against you, however, when they taste the combination of scallops, prawns, and wine butter sauce with tourneed saffron potatoes, zucchini, and carrots. “Tourneed” means turned: the vegetables are carved into small 8-sided football shapes of equal size so that they cook evenly.
- Saffron Potatoes
- Potatoes - 12, small, tourneed
- Saffron Threads - 4 to 5
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
- Vermouth - 2 tablespoons
- Cream - 1-1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1-1/2 cup (3 sticks), cut in pieces
- Virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Sea Scallops - 12 large
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Prawns - 12, shelled, tails left on
- Carrots, diced - 3 large, peeled and cut in long thin julienne
- Leek Leaves - 4, cut in long thin julienne
- Baby Zucchini - 12, tourneed and blanched
- Baby Carrots - 12, tourneed and blanched
- Tomatoes - 2, peeled, seeded, and cut in small dice
- Chervil Sprigs - 4
To prepare the potatoes: Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and add the saffron and potatoes. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the potatoes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside; keep warm.
To prepare the sauce: Combine the shallots, wine, and vermouth in a medium non-aluminum saucepan and cook over medium heat until the shallots are soft and the liquid is almost dry. Whisk in the cream and heat the mixture until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until all the butter has been incorporated. Regulate the temperature by taking the pan off the heat as necessary to keep the butter from melting into yellow streaks; if yellow streaks appear, remove from heat and whisk in several pieces of butter at once until the sauce recombines. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Set aside; keep warm.
To prepare the cassoulet: Brush a non-stick saute pan or skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on each side and just done through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add a little more oil to the pan. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and put in the pan with the scallops. Saute until pink and opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the scallops and prawns on a towel. Put the carrot and leek julienne in the pan, add a little more of the olive oil, and saute until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
To finish the vegetables: Melt the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat and saute the zucchini and carrots until warmed through.
To serve: Place a mound of carrot-leek julienne in the center of each plate. Place 3 scallops around the center, and place a prawn between each two scallops. Drizzle sauce over the prawns. Position 3 tourneed potatoes, zucchini, and carrots on each plate. Sprinkle with tomato dice. Garnish with a sprig of chervil.