A menu to welcome the New Year
Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Spinach, Sweet Potato and Mango Chutney Vinaigrette
1 8 to 10-ounce sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
4 large sea scallops, about 2 ounces each
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/3 cup Panko Japanese breadcrumbs
Mango Chutney Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup sweet mango chutney
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mild flavored olive or peanut oil
Boil the diced sweet potato in a pan of boiling water until very soft. Drain off the water and return the potato to the hot pan. Mash with a potato masher and stir in the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan to keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach leaves and cook, turning often, until wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and sprinkle them with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Dip the scallops in the beaten egg white and coat with Panko breadcrumbs. Place the scallops in the hot skillet and sear until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the scallops over carefully, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until cooked through.
Mango Chutney Vinaigrette: Combine the chutney, vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil.
To assemble, divide the spinach among four small plates. Place a dollop (about 1 tablespoon) of mashed sweet potato in the center of the spinach. Top each dollop of potato with a scallop and drizzle each with a spoonful of the Mango Chutney Vinaigrette. Serves 4.
Tom Hodge's wine recommendation: 2005 Schloss-Saarstein Riesling.
Duck Breasts with Orange Sauce
2 whole, boneless duck breasts (about 2 pounds total)
sea salt & black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons bitter orange marmalade
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each whole duck breast into two portions. Rinse the breasts under cold running water and pat completely dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of each breast in a diamond pattern taking care not to cut the flesh. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large oven-proof skillet over high heat. When hot, place the duck breasts in the skillet skin side down and sear them for 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn the breasts over and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 30 seconds more. Drain off all but about 3 tablespoons of the duck fat and place the skillet in the oven. Roast the duck breasts for 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare, or until desired doneness is achieved. Transfer the breasts to a warm platter and let rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
Orange Sauce: Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of duck fat from the skillet without disturbing the browned bits left in the skillet. Add the white wine, stir up the browned bits and boil over medium-high heat, until reduced by half. Add the orange juice, chicken broth and rosemary. Boil the liquid until reduced to about ? cup. Stir in the marmalade and Grand Marnier and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the sauce for about 1 minute more, stirring constantly, until the marmalade is dissolved and the sauce is bubbly.
Slice each duck breast into ?-inch thick slices and arrange them on dinner plates. Top each with some of the orange sauce. Serve with Brown Basmati Rice with Orange Zest (recipe follows). Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and orange slices. Serves 4.
Tom Hodge's wine recommendation: 2003 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Red Wine.
Brown Basmati Rice with Orange Zest
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
Bring the water to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, salt and butter. Return to a boil, stir and cover. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.
When the liquid is absorbed, lift the pan lid, add the orange zest and quickly replace the lid without stirring. Let the rice stand, covered, for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the orange zest. Serves 4 to 6.
Eggnog Ice Cream with Rum Drizzle
1 quart chilled eggnog (purchase a thick, rich and sweet whole milk version)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup dark rum
Pour the chilled eggnog into an ice cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Spoon the ice cream into a container and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours to allow time for the ice cream to firm up.
Rum Drizzle: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is simmering and the brown sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly for 4 to 5 minutes, just until the mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon. Pour the rum mixture into a container and cool to warm or room temperature before using.
To serve, scoop the eggnog ice cream into dessert glasses or bowls and top each with a spoonful of the Rum Drizzle. Serves 6 to 8.
Recipes by Jayni Carey©Copyright, 2007.