Table Talk with Chef Zachary Golper of Bien Cuit |
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Pasta with Artichoke Pesto
Cognac Shrimp Bisque
Scallop Bisque with Pesto Cheese Straws
- 1 1/2 lbs small bay scallops chopped
- 1/2 small fennel bulb thin sliced
- 2 shallots fine diced
- 1 potato diced (cooked and then mashed) no skins
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup fish broth, or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil to saute shallots and fennel
- 12 large scallops as a garnish
- 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs for the scallop garnish
- 1 egg for the scallop garnish
- Butter to saute the scallop garnish
- 1 package of Pillsbury Bread Sticks
- 1/4 cup pesto (I used jarred, but you can make your own)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon paprika as a garnish
- Fennel fronds as a garnish
This a quick and easy bisque to make. I wouldn’t call it the best for those who are calorie concious but I don’t make it very often and when I do, I use as just a small bowl and a starter. In fact when I serve this, I love to serve it in coffee mugs and add a skewer of seared scallops and a pesto cheese straw as a garnish. It is always a favorite with my friends and family.
I do take advantage of a homemade pesto I get from a local market. They sell small containers and I always have it on hand, but you can easily make your own. But honestly I like making crescent rolls and others breads using this method so I keep the pesto on hand for quick fixes. Also … pesto is great with some fresh deli meat and some cheese to make paninis. Just one of those things I keep on hand for last minute meals.
Well this bisque is very elegant way to start dinner for company or even for a party. A big crock pot some mugs and a side of the scallops skewers and pesto straws and everyone can help them selves.
- 1First make the bisque …In a large pot, saute the shallots and fennel in olive oil for a couple of minutes until soft. Then I add my diced potato to the microwave covered with saran wrap and cooked 1-2 minutes until very soft. Mash and then add to the fennel and shallots. Add the scallops the diced ones … and lightly sautee. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and bay leaf. Add the cream, milk and broth and cook on low.
- 2While the bisque cooks, make the bread sticks. I flatten out the bread sticks with my palm but you can use a rolling pin or whatever you have. Brush with some pesto and then sprinkle with parm. Then roll. I also spray with pam or my olive oil atomizer and roll in parm to make a nice crust. Then bake according to directions.
- 3No lets finish the bisque … Use your immersion blender or if you don’t have one scoop some of the scallops into a blender. You want some pureed and some still whole. I like a combination of both. I just blend for a few minutes. If you like your bisque thicker, use a slurry of cornstarch and water or instant potato flakes to thicken it. I don’t like mine too thick. Season with salt and pepper again if needed.
- 4Now finish the garnish. While the bread sticks finish baking and the soup thickens … Make the scallop garnish. Dip each large scallop in egg, then bread crumbs mixed with salt and pepper. Saute in butter until nice and golden brown. Skewer and serve 2 per skewer. This makes a great garnish for the soup. I use the short bamboo skewers.
- 5For each mug or bowl, I use one skewer of the sauted scallops, 1 pesto cheese straw and then top with a few fennel fronds and a little paprika. This is a very elegant and rich but very delicious appetizer or start to dinner.