Scallops on Fennel Puree with Honey Balsamic Drizzle
Pan seared scallops served on a bed of fennel puree with a sweet Balsamic drizzle. This recipe was inspired by Masterchef New Zealand contestant Rob and I've modified the ingredients and instructions to match those that are commonly available in North America along with experimentation to make the recipe lower in fats yet every bit as flavorful.
well washed, chopped
light cream (half&half)
12 scallops in total
Heat one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the fennel and leeks and sauté until translucent and soft.
Add the milk, cream, garlic and star anise. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
Strain out the liquid through a sieve. Reserve the liquid and discard the star anise.
Using a hand-held blender or food processor purée the leeks and fennel with some of the reserved liquid until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper, taste adjust seasoning and strain through a fine sieve.
Add the balsamic vingar to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half.
Stir in the honey and one teaspoon of butter. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat.
Dry the scallops with paper towel. You want to make sure the scallops are as dry as possible so they will brown and caramelize properly. Season the scallops a small amount of salt on each side.
Place in the hot skillet and cook for 90 seconds, turning only once. Be careful not to overcook.
Drizzle the honey balsamic onto a serving plate in a zig zag pattern. This is easier if you place the balsamic drizzle into a squeeze bottle.
Spoon a line of the fennel, leek purée down the center of the plate.
Top the purée with a row of scallops evenly spaced.
Garnish with fennel fronds and serve immediately.