RECIPE: As cherries blossom, a taste of summer
Cherries pair with the earth and sea in this favorite springtime recipe from Richard Hetzler, executive chef at the acclaimed Mitsitam Cafe at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Cherry-dusted sea scallops, with roasted-garlic potato hash and cherry reduction, is an elegant dinner that can be made year round, but is never more suitable than in the sweet months between cherry blossoms and cherries ripening.
Cherry-dusted sea scallops, roasted garlic and potato hash with cherry reduction, serves 4
12 sea scallops
1 cup dried cherries
3 oz. olive oil
2-3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced small
4 cloves roasted garlic
3 tbsp. cornstarch
Note: For roasted garlic, place garlic cloves with about 2 tbsp. vegetable oil on a roasting pan in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
2 cups cherry juice
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
To prepare cherry dust
- Lightly coat dried cherries with cornstarch and place in a 200-degree oven overnight, about 12-14 hours.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely at room temperature.
- Puree in coffee grinder and set aside. (Note: If cherries still feel like they have a lot of moisture in them, dry for longer in oven.)
To prepare sauce
- In a medium sauce pan, add in all ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce by three-fourths and cool completely (should be the consistency of syrup; if too thick thin with more cherry juice).
To prepare potato hash
- Heat a medium non-stick sauté pan with 2 tbsp. of olive oil.
- Mash the roasted garlic in the saute pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Add diced potatoes and sauté until potatoes are golden brown and soft through.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare scallops
- Heat a medium non-stick sauté pan with 1 tbsp. of olive oil.
- Season the scallops with salt and pepper, and lightly dust with cherry dust. Sear scallops for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side.
- Remove scallops from pan. Let rest for 1 minute before plating up.
To plate up (7-inch round plate or a plate of your choosing)
- Using a 1 ½-inch ring mold in the center of the plate, fill with potato hash and pack down with a spoon.
- Lightly drizzle about 1½ ounces of the cherry sauce on the plate. Then place the seared scallops as if on the face of a clock at four, eight and 12. Serve warm.
Courtesy of the American Indian News Service