Olive oil

Grilled Sea Scallops with Butternut Fagottini

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I love scallops and I love pasta even more and this dish is light and satisfying. Grilled scallops have a completely different flavor over pan seared scallops, you don’t get the nice crisp crust but you get the flavor of the grill which is just as great. The micro greens are grown for us in Sisters, Oregon and we receive them weekly in their grow trays and we clip them when we need them, we dressed them with a nice blended balsamic and local hazelnut oil.

Butternut Filling

~1/2ea Butternut Squash

2.25oz Grated Mahon Cheese

5.29oz Cremeux de Bourgogne or any triple cream soft ripened cheese

1ea Meyer Lemon, juiced

~5T Panko/Bread Crumbs

1ea Egg

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Let the cheeses stand at room temperature to soften
  • Cut your butternut squash in half and remove the seeds, dry roast until the flesh is soft
  • Remove the squash from the oven and let cool. Once cooled scoop out the insides and place them in a food processor. Puree for a few minutes until very smooth.
  • Place the squash puree in a bowl. Remove the rind from the soft cheese and place it in a separate bowl. Using a fork stir the cheese until a smooth puree is formed.
  • Add the grated mahon, followed by half the squash puree, mix well. Add the remaining squash puree and mix well.
  • Add the Meyer lemon juice and the egg, mix well. Add bread crumbs until the mix comes begins to thicken. Let stand for five minutes to allow the bread crumbs to hydrate.
  • You may or may not need more bread crumbs depending on how much water was in your squash. You are looking for a filling that can be piped out of a piping bag but not toothpaste consistency.
  • Check for salt, I did not need any in mine as the soft ripened cheese had plenty in it.

Butternut Fagiottini
1 batch Egg Pasta Dough, add 1T Espelette pepper and 1t spanish paprika to get the color seen in the picture.

1 batch Butternut Squash Filling (Above)

1ea Egg

  • Beat the egg with a little water, place filling into a pastry bag.
  • To make these pyramid shaped pastas, roll out your pasta dough into sheets, the sheets should be the width of the roller (5.5″). You can use a fluted cutter or just a knife, cut the dough down the length in the center.
  • You can see my rolling process for ravioli’s here
  • Now you have to strips about 2.25″ across, make multiple cuts down the sheet to create squares.
  • Very lightly brush the squares with the egg, if you use too much egg the pasta will not stick together, so its best to wipe the excess egg off of yuor pastry brush before applying to the pasta.
  • Pipe about 1/3oz of filling onto the center of the squares.
  • Take all four corners of the pasta and join them in the center to form the peak, pinch all of the sides that meet to ensure that the filling will stay in.
  • Sprinkle some flour or semolina flour onto a tray or plate. Place the fagottini on the semolina and you can either leave them out until you are ready to cook them or you can place them in the fridge. I would not recommend freezing this pasta because the filling can be very delicate and will probably break when reheated from frozen.

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Mascarpone Foam
1/2C Heavy Cream

2T Mascarpone

TT Salt

  • Combine all and whip to soft peaks

For plating you will need roasted salsify and beets, chopped and roasted hazelnuts, micro greens, cured egg yolk, three brined scallops, a well aged balsamic and a bright olive oil.

  • Scrub your beets, about one golf ball size beet per plate, with the rough side of a sponge and then rinse them to remove the dirt. Toss them in oil, S&P, roast at 350° rotating them every 20 minutes until soft and the skin can easily peel. The beets can take up to an hour to roast, once finished, peel the beets and slice them to 1/4″ thick and cool.
  • Peel the salsify and toss them in olive oil and S&P, then roast them at 350° until they feel soft in the middle, about 30 minutes. Once cooked let cool.
  • Once the vegetables are roasted you can set them aside until you are ready to plate, you will reheat these about five minutes before plating.
  • Preheat your oven to 450°, prepare your grill, or you can sear the scallops in a pan if it is more convenient. Put a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil, salt the water and drop your pasta in. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the dough is soft, about 7-11 minutes.
  • Once the pasta is in the water put your vegetables in the oven to reheat, season and begin cooking your scallops, once the scallops have a nice sear on both sides, remove from the pan onto a paper towel and let rest in a warm area.
  • Remove your pasta and let drain, remove your vegetables and set aside.
  • Begin plating to your hearts desire. I finished the plate with a nice drizzle of the balsamic and olive oil followed by the cured egg yolk.

OLIVE OIL, SEA SALT, & PEPPER

During culinary school the importance of using salt was drilled into my head from the first day that i stepped into the kitchen. I can remember back in my sauces class when I had to make an orange gastrique, a sweet and sour sauce if you will, for duck, and I was so proud of my accomplishment that I ran over to the chef for him to try it. His response was less than impressed, he asked “did you season this sauce?” I told him “no”, he then proceeded to throw the pot away and told me to start over and to properly season it this time. At this point I realized that whether sweet or savory salt was a key ingredient.

The best way to test salts flavoring abilities is to make a base for creme brulee or ice cream, a nice and rich custard with vanilla, before you turn it into ice cream or creme brulee, taste the base, add a little salt and taste it again, add a little more until you start to notice the flavors of vanilla stand out and the richness of the cream get deeper. This lesson has been very valuable in my career in being able to train my staff properly and to taste food and season it properly.

Aside from salts ability to enhance I have realized, over the years, that salt can do more than enhance favors, sea salts from different regions can create an experience unlike any other. Aside from flavor, sea salts contain different minerals and nutrients that you cannot get from ordinary table salt. The simplicity that is salt can help us live a healthier life, and with OLIVE OIL, SEA SALT, & PEPPER we can .

What I love about this book, from the first few pages that I read, is that it teaches you what I teach the interns that come to my restaurant, in order to eat healthy you need to learn to cook healthy, keep it simple and use what you have, try not to over think it. At our Christmas buffet we had people left and right complementing our baked yams, everyone asked how we did it and my response to them was “Do you have a piece of paper and a pen? You will need olive oil, salt, and pepper”. Their response was always “That’s it?!” and I would reassure them that that was all they needed to cook a great meal. A good steak takes a grill, a good quality well raised cow, salt, pepper, and olive oil. In the summer we go out to our garden to pick fresh arugula that we toss with olive oil, salt and a little lemon. Simplicity is where we need to start, and this book demonstrates how easy it is to cook simple, great tasting food. I feel that this book will provide a great outline for everybody to live by to have a healthier life.

Pistachio Oil

Pistachios are by far my favorite nut, and buying pistachio oil can get very expensive. I use a small handful of parsley to get a vibrant green color into the oil and then let the  pistachios do the rest.

Pistachio Oil

2C Pistachios (shelled)

3C Grapeseed oil or another mild oil

2C Parsley (stems and leaves)

  • Combine the oil and pistachios in a pot and heat to 150°F. This will help the pistachios release their natural oils and flavors. Oil heats very quickly so be careful and watch your thermometer.
  • Prepare an ice bath and a metal container to pour the hot oil into.
  • Place parsley in a high-speed blender such as a Vita-mix, food processors work but they need to run longer.
  • Pour the hot oil and pistachios over the parsley and blend until very smooth and the oil turns green. Be very careful when blending hot liquids in a high-speed blender! The heat can cause the liquid to shoot the top off of a blender if not used properly. Variable speed blenders are recommended so you can start slow and step up to high-speed.
  • Once the oil is green, immediately pour it into a metal container in the ice bath. This will prevent the parsley from turning black and in turn ruining the oil.
  • Prepare a strainer or china cap with a coffee filter and once the oil has cooled, pour it carefully through the coffee filter. This may need to be done in multiple steps depending on the size of your filters.
  • Place the oil in the refrigerator over night while it strains. Infused oils should always be stored in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria from forming. The straining process can take 1-2 days but let it strain at its own speed for optimal flavor.

The strained pistachio oil looks very similar to freshly pressed olive oil.