Polenta Encrusted Scallops with Roasted Mushrooms

Recipe courtesy of Chef Chris Nason, Sapphire Grill, Savannah, Ga.

 

Yield: 24 portions

Ingredients

Golden Tomato Water
6 large gold tomatoes (about 3 pounds), chopped
3 cups chicken stock
3 heads garlic, split (skin on)
3/4 cup white wine
3 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
12 peppercorns
6 bay leaves

Polenta Crust
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan
1 bunch fresh lemon thyme leaves (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

12 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) stemmed shiitake mushrooms
12 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) stemmed oyster mushrooms
3 cups olive oil
72 (U 10) dry scallops, side muscles removed
24 sprigs fresh lemon thyme

Directions

In large pot, combine all the ingredients for the tomato water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Allow to reduce by 1/3, until tomatoes are completely soft and broken down. Strain through fine sieve or cheesecloth and reserve the liquid. Keep warm. (Makes about 6 cups)

For the Crust: Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined.

For each serving, to order: In a small skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil and toss 1 cup of mixed mushrooms briefly to coat with oil, adding salt and pepper to taste. Place in a 400-degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms become crispy on the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Rinse and pat dry 3 scallops and press each one into the polenta mixture on both sides. In a nonstick saute pan, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and sear until golden brown on each side. Plate the scallops in a shallow bowl, distanced equally apart. In the center of each bowl, pile the crispy mushrooms. Ladle 2 ounces of tomato water into each bowl around the scallops and garnish with a sprig of lemon thyme.

This is a very thin sauce and is best if served in a bowl.

 

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