Monday, July 22, 2013

Rosie Prepares Scallops With Yuzu Kosho Sauce.

 A few months ago,
I received an email with a bunch of recipes in it.
I know I saved that email somewhere,
but, for the life of me, I can't find it.

I did happen to print out one of the recipes
that stood out to me -

seared scallops on a bed of popcorn and cream purée
with yuzu kosho sauce.
Today's scallop dish is adapted
from that email which ended up in my inbox.

When I first read the recipe,
I knew I'd be making it,
in some form or other.

The original recipe is from Chef Jason Fox,
executive chef and co-owner of
Commonwealth in San Francisco.
Chef Fox started with a creamy popcorn purée base
onto which he added seared scallops,
and then accessorized with colorful diced vegetables
and a yuzu kosho sauce.
So you can see why I was entranced by this dish
and had to give it a go.

And to top it off,
I had no freakin' idea what yuzu kosho sauce was.
I only knew I wanted it.
And when I want something,
I have to have it.
Sooner, not later.

So, I'm asking myself,
"Self?  What the heck is yuzu kosho sauce?"

 Internet-stolen photograph.
Not mine.

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit,
 resembling a small grapefruit
with a slightly bumpy rind.
The taste, I read, is somewhere between
Meyer lemon, grapefruit, and lime.
In Japan, the zest of the yuzu
is combined with green chili peppers
to make a potent paste
which adds heat and fragrance to any dish.
In paste form,
yuzu kosho is very concentrated.
Extra citrus juice can be added
so you can use it as a sauce.
That's what I'm doing.

Now you know I have no access to yuzu.
This is the Outer Banks or,
as we sometimes call it,
the Outer Limits.
So, I'm substituting ingredients
for the yuzu kosho sauce,
following Chef Fox's recommendations.

Wait a minute.
Now that I think about it,
maybe Ticky will swing by the Asian Market
up in Virginia Beach,
find me a jar of yuzu kosho,
and run it down to me
some weekend when she's scooting about

Let's start cooking.
I'm starting with the popcorn base,
except I'm not using popcorn.

I am such a renegade.
Anyone know what this is?
It's maíz cancha.
Peruvian popcorn.

It was in a Culinary Care Package
my friend, Zzzadig, sent me some time ago.
And finally today,
I'm putting the cancha to use.
Thanks again, Zzzadig.

Cancha is a type of popcorn,
similar to corn nuts,
made from a variety of corn called maíz chulpe,
and it's a popular snack in the Andes.
When heated in a little oil,
the kernels will pop and toast,
but they don't puff up like traditional popcorn.
They have a nice toasty,
crunchy, starchy, nutty taste.
Rosie likey.

I put a little oil in my skillet,
poured in a cup of the cancha,
and lightly toasted them.

Put a lid on it when they start popping.
Keep shaking the pan until the cancha stop popping.
About 8 minutes.

Add a little sea salt and toss to coat.

I poured the cancha into a small saucepan and ...

... added a cup of cream.

Bring to a boil,
remove from heat, cover,
and let steep for 30 minutes.

After steeping,
I'll pour this in a blender
and purée it,
season with salt,
adding more cream if needed
to create a thick purée.

For the YUZU KOSHO sauce.
Yuzu Kosho Sauce
1/2 cup white wine
sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 shallot, minced
1 TB heavy cream
1 TB yuzo kosho
1 stick butter, diced

Chef Fox's recipe called for 2 sticks butter,
but I'm sorry, I just couldn't do that.
I'm no Paula Deen
and apparently,
and even more, sadly,
 Pauler Deen ain't no Pauler Deen anymore.

For the yuzu kosho sauce,
I substituted with the zest and juice of 1 lime 
and a heaping  1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce.
Mix well.

Combine the wine, thyme, shallots, and peppercorns
in a medium saucepan.
Bring to simmer over medium heat.

Cook until liquid has reduced to 2 tablespoons.

Pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer
and discard solids.

I have:
reduced seasoned liquid
faux yuzu kosho
1 TB heavy cream
1 stick of butter

In a small saucepan,
I mixed the reduced liquid,
the faux yuzu kosho, and ...

...  the cream.

Return to simmer over low heat.

 I decided it needed slightly more heat...

...  so I chopped up a red chili
and added that in.

Next, I whisked in the butter,
a pat at a time, until thick and creamy.
I only used one stick of butter,
but if you want to use two,
as recommended by Chef Fox,
who am I to say no?

Set aside and keep warm.

Let's go back to the cancha:
It's been steeping for 30 minutes at least.
Pour into a blender and ...

...  and purée away.

Season if needed.

 I like to add some pretty colors to any dish,
so I'm adding peas and
 tiny-diced carrot and yellow pepper.

Sizzle the vegetables in a little butter.
Season with freshly ground salt and pepper.
Set aside.
Keep warm.

Time now to turn our attention to the scallops.
Rinse and pat dry.

Heat your skillet over medium high,
add in a tablespoon each of butter and peanut oil,
 and sear the scallops.
Do NOT over cook scallops.

I added in a little white wine to deglaze the pan.
Every now and then,
the arsonist in me gets the better of me.

That's a WHOOT!  moment for me.

It's time to plate.
Schmear some of the cancha purée on your plate
and top with the scallops.
Add the vegetables
and spoon the sauce around.

Mr. Hawthorne and I were delighted with this.
 That Peruvian popcorn purée!
You have to try it to believe it.
Sweet and salt together is a lovely marriage.

Yuzu kosho sauce ...
Where have you been all my life?

I can't imagine this with two sticks of butter in it,
but next time ...
who knows?

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