Scallop, Dungeness Crab, Black Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato
Shall we begin? French for “to amuse the mouth,” an amuse bouche is a delectable morsel sent out by the chef in fine dining establishments to welcome and delight the guests. Unlike appetizers, diners don’t choose an amuse bouche from the menu. It is a lagniappe, a little something extra created by the chef, to whet their appetites for the meal to come.
For elegant entertaining at home, I think of an amuse bouche as mingling plush ingredients and pizazzy flavors in a diminutive eye-popping presentation. This scallop & crab amuse bouche was a perfect way to tickle the tastebuds at our recent sea-centric dinner party.
Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Heirloom-Tomato-Meyer-Lemon Sauce Recipe
Cook black quinoa according to package instructions.
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 meyer lemon
- olive oil
- salt to taste
Slice an X through the skin on the base of the tomatoes. Place tomatoes in boiling water for 60 seconds. Remove tomatoes, let cool, peel off the skins and remove the stem. Slice into quarters. Place tomato meat in the bowl of a food processor.
Slice a Meyer lemon into wheels, remove the seeds. Add it to the food processor.
With the food processor running, stream in olive oil to get a sauce consistency. Add salt to taste. Set aside at room temperature.
Light the candles, seat your guests, pour the wine and get ready to serve the amuse bouche course…
Sauté spinach in olive oil until just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
We served our amuse bouche on shells which were stabilized over a bed of Kosher salt.
U-10 (under 10 scallops per pound) are the largest available. These dry pack, wild caught Atlantic sea scallops have a sweet, rich buttery taste. They contain no preservatives or additives and do not ooze liquid during the cooking process, unlike wet scallops that have been soaked in a phosphate solution.
Season cold dry scallops with Kosher salt. Heat a stainless steel saute pan over high heat. Add canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is very hot and just about to smoke, place the scallops in the pan. Be sure not to crowd the scallops. As stovetops vary, adjust the heat, if necessary, to keep the scallops from burning.
Cook over high heat for exactly two minutes to form a nice caramelized crust. Flip the scallops over with a pair of tongs and a fish spatula, and continue to cook for one minute only. Get ready to serve immediately.
Have the plates prepped and ready to go before cooking the scallops, which take exactly three minutes.
Place spinach on a small bed of black quinoa. Top the spinach with a wheel of heirloom tomato approximately the same size as the scallop. Season the tomato with a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper. Place the scallop on the tomato, then top with dungeness crab meat. Ladle heirloom tomato meyer lemon sauce over the crab. Garnish with an edible flower.
Enjoy the party!