One of the great advantages of my new workplace is, that during weekdays we offer a lunch menu that changes daily, the "plat du jour", so besides the items on the standard menu I have the potential to learn 12 new dishes every week (I don't work Fridays), or 564 dishes if I stay one year (deducting 5 weeks restaurant closure), one starter, one fish main course, one meat main course every weekday. The exciting observations for me besides the recipes are the customer responses to certain dishes and the organization, to make sure we can get them out in quantities during "rush hour" without any delay.
One of the l'entrées du jour (starter of the day) that is very popular, is a carpaccio de Saint Jacques (Scallops), and we offer it now almost every week. During the mise en place time in the morning we usually prepare 20 plates arranging the scallops cut in thin slices, store the plates in the fridge and at the moment of the customer order, we finish the plate by drizzling truffle oil, olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, fleur de sel, some parmesan and either a little salad or a heap of green herbs in the center. So it usually takes less than a minute to send the plate out once the order reaches the kitchen us.
I wanted to try something similar today at home, using a new kitchen toy I offered myself last weekend. A siphon compressor in order to start playing around with the currently so popular espumas and chantillys (foams and whipped creams), that are used in professional kitchens far beyond creating just plain whipped cream.
And I found a nice recipe in the book "espumas & chantilly" (editions marabout). One year ago I would not have dared to buy scallops with the shell, but now I open hundreds of them every Sunday in the bistrot, so you could say I know the technique and I am getting fast at it. So of course I am buying them now with the shell.
For the cream mix that goes into the siphon, mix :
- liquid cream
- soja sauce
- olive oil
- 5 epices (spice mix)
- lime juice
Then arrange thin slices of raw scallops on a round plate, ideally not white, to create a better color contrast. Drizzle with a mix of lime zest, olive oil and soja sauce. With the siphon add the cream mix in the center of the plate.
Decorate with afalfa sprouts, spring onions and lime zests. You do not need salt, as the soja sauce in the whipped cream and the vinaigrette contain enough salt. That's all ! And there you have a light, beautiful, not so ordinary starter ! Bon appétit !