Creamy Vadouvan Carrot Puree with Seared Scallops
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*sea scallops (serving suggestion, 3 per person) butter salt and pepper vadouvan curry carrot puree (recipe below) nigella seeds (optional); substitute black sesame seeds microgreens (optional)
Pat the scallops dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, add the scallops and cook, without moving, for 1 1/2 minutes until nicely browned. Flip and cook another 1 1/2 minutes until nicely browned. Remove the scallops from the heat.
Spoon some carrot puree on a plate. Place the seared scallops on top. Sprinkle with nigella or black sesame seeds. Garnish with a few microgreens.
*Instead of scallops, the carrot puree also pairs well with firm whitefish such as halibut, cod, haddock, sea bass, snapper, etc.
Vadouvan Carrot Puree
2 tablespoons butter (or 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter) 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, whole, crushed gently with side of knife 1 small bay leaf 1/2 onion sliced, thinly 1 tablespoon vadouvan curry spice blend, such as this one or this one or this one or this one (heat level may vary depending on the blend you use). 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed 2 cups of carrot, chopped ~ 1-inch pieces 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock 3 tablespoons heavy cream sea salt and black pepper
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and cook a couple of minutes until the garlic is golden. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the vadouvan curry spice blend and ground fennel seed, and cook another minute or so until aromatic. Add the carrots, stock, and cream. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and discard. With a slotted spoon, transfer the solids to a blender jar. Add just enough cooking liquid to produce a creamy puree (you may not need all the liquid). Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.