Seared Sea Scallops, Bacon & Leek Consomme, Brussels Sprouts, Leek Hearts, Baby Carrot, Fennel Root, Romanesco Cauliflower
The first step was to make the broth. You may already know this but I do not buy bacon, I make my own. And whenever I make bacon and then slice it I am left with random end pieces, trimmings and chunks of skin. I always save these as they are a perfect addition to braises and stews or in this case a soup. I finely diced a whole leek and sauteed it in butter for about ten minutes until they were very tender. I added about a half a pound of diced bacon bits, cooking them for another 15 minutes or so to release as much fat as possible. I added a tablespoon of sherry vinegar and a teaspoon of soy sauce. After the sherry and soy mostly evaporated I added a quart of chicken stock. I cooked this slowly for about 3 hours to allow a lot of flavor to develop. Once finished I strained out all of the solids and then restrained the liquid through cheese clothe to clarify it.
I put a ladle-full of the broth into a saute pan along with a knob of butter and placed it over a low burner. I added the carrots, leek hearts and fennel root and covered the pan. After a few minutes I added the cauliflower and sprouts and cooked them til they were fork tender.
I patted the scallops dry and seasoned them on both sides with salt and pepper. Remember to always buy "dry-pack" scallops which have not been treated with the chemical solution that wet-pack have been subjected too. They are well worth the extra price and if you're searing them, they are the only kind that will work. I poured some grape-seed oil in a pan and when it was ripping hot I laid in the scallops searing them to a golden brown, a few minutes per side. I garnished the dish with some fennel fronds and Brussels sprout leaves.
Sea Scallops - Ippolito's
Organic Brussels Sprouts - Culton Organics
Organic Romanesco Cauliflower - Culton Organics
Organic Baby Fennel - Culton Organics
Baby Carrots and Leeks - Blooming Glen