Seared Scallops with Lemon Air and Bell Pepper Coulis
These tasty seared scallops are served on a coulis of bell pepper, topped with tangy lemon air and complemented with braised shallots.
Lemon air is the molecular gastronomy way of adding lemon juice to your dishes. Great look and strong lemon flavor. The lemon air recipe is from Ferran Adria and El Bulli team.
Ingredients for Lemon Air
- 350 g (12 oz) lemon juice
- 250 g (9 oz) cold water
- 3 g lecithin powder
Ingredients for Bell Pepper Coulis (two servings)
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 tbsp parsley
- pinch of lemon zest
- salt, pepper
Ingredients for Scallops (two servings)
- 6 scallops
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Parsley leaf to decorate
Ingredients for Braised Shallots
- 10 shallot bulbs (2 or 3 per person)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- salt & fresh ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 sprigs parsley
Start by braising the shallots. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet and add the shallots. Sauté over medium heat for about ten minutes, rolling the shallots about so they brown as evenly as possible, without breaking apart. Pour in the stock, season to taste, add the herbs, and cover. Simmer over low heat for about 40 to 50 minutes until the shallots are perfectly tender but retain their shape and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Remove the herbs and serve the shallots.
Prepare the mix for the lemon air. Using an immersion blender, mix the 3 ingredients in a high container wide enough to collect the air (about 25 cm). To produce best results, the mix needs to be cold. Place it in the fridge until one minute before you are ready to start plating and then produce the lemon air.
To produce the lemon air, you will have to lift the blender to the upper part of the liquid surface to incorporate as much air as possible so that a foam forms on the surface. Once you have enough foam on the surface, let it rest of 1 minute so that the foam sets and the excess of liquid is eliminated. Proceed to remove the foam with a slotted spoon and serve.
Now we are going to prepare the bell pepper coulis. Cut the bell pepper in slices and sauté in a skillet with some oil until soft. Mix with the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Pass it through a fine sieve and reserve in a container or pot you can use to heat the coulis on the stove or the microwave before plating.
To sear the scallops, heat a nonstick sauté pan over a high heat, add a tablespoon of unsalted butter and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the oil/butter is very hot, place the scallops on the pan. Don’t touch them for a couple of minutes and then take a look and flip them once you see a caramel-colored crust on the underside. In the meantime produce the lemon air (see above) and heat the bell pepper coulis. Cook for another minute on the other side.
Remove scallops from the pan and serve over the bell pepper coulis immediately while their centers are still slightly translucent. When you press them with your fingers they should be soft; if they are firm they are overcooked. Decorate with parsley leaf, add lemon air and braised shallots.
- Serve the scallops as an appetizer or as a main entrée by adding some pasta or risotto.
- Lemon air is a great addition to any grilled seafood appetizer. Try on grilled scampi or calamari.