FOODS OF LOVE: Alta is high on love for Valentine’s Day

You don’t have to be a professional chef (or a restauranteur) to present your sweetheart with this special treat. Just follow the recipe.

Benjamin Daire, Chef at Alta. Photo: Molly Ferioli
Benjamin Daire, Chef at Alta. Photo: Molly Ferioli

Lenox — While I am chef at Alta, I must share the selection of this dish with the restaurant’s two owners — Aurelien Telle and Stephan Ferioli. This dish is on our regular menu, but it stands out for us because we can say that scallops are a favorite of all our wives. We would cook it for them…and we would be happy if they cooked it for us. We feel this dish is unique, attractive and sexy for Valentine’s Day. And, you don’t have to be a professional chef (or a restauranteur) to present your sweetheart with this special treat. Just follow the recipe. It’s easy, which means you can spend more time with your loved one. Or come to Alta, and we’ll make it for you both!

 

 

Pan Seared Sea Scallops, with Sautéed White Grapes, Butternut Squash Purée, Arugula, Pickled Red Onions and Verjus Maple Sauce (Serves 2)

Alta Scallops Photo: Molly Ferioli
Alta Scallops, a dish that is unique, attractive and sexy.  Photo: Molly Ferioli

 

Scallops:

8 scallops. (We prefer size U10.)

Sauce:

4 oz. white Verjus (can be found at Guido’s)

2 oz. dark maple syrup

16 grapes cut in half

1 oz. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Arugula:

4 oz. Arugula

1 oz. extra virgin olive oil

¼ oz. splash of raspberry vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste
Butternut Squash Puree:

1 large butternut squash

3 oz. heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

To make the puree, peel and cut the butternut squash in one-inch cubes.

Boil it until cooked through (not mushy).

Drain.

In a robot coupe or blender, blend until pureed. Add salt & pepper to taste.

To cook the scallops, heat vegetable oil in a frying pan until oil becomes very hot and starts to smoke.

Add the scallops. After one minute, when the scallops start to brown, turn them over and brown the other side for another minute.

Remove the scallops and reserve to the side and discard the oil.

Deglaze the pan with the Verjus. Add in the grapes, cut in half, and cook until browned. Reduce the heat a bit and add the maple syrup. Add one ounce of butter to the sauce, turn the fire off, and swirl the butter into the sauce.

To plate, put puree in the center of the plate, topped with arugula drizzled with olive oil and raspberry vinegar. Display the scallops around the plate and add the grapes and sauce around and on top.

Enjoy!!!

 

Photo 4-AltaFrontPorch
The front porch at Alta. Photo: Molly Ferioli