Chef John Malik

a writer trapped in a cook's body

Tonight’s Special is…

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“Tonight’s special is Rainbow Trout, it’s two boneless filets of Sunburst Farms Trout with a Scallop Mousse filling, the mousse has been seasoned with shallots, garlic, parsley and chives then the filets are wrapped in two slices of Benton’s Ham and it’s oven roasted, served over stone-ground grits with sauteed morel mushrooms, local baby carrots, scallions and lobster stock.  The trout is then topped with a sweet pepper relish and a scallop mousse fritter.”  Scallop mousse, while it may sound intimidating, is actually fairly easy to make but you will need to sepnd some money on the scallops.  Buy only dry-pack scallops.  Those other ones have been treated with polyphosphates, long chained salts that aid in the retention of water.  You’ll only need a pound or less.  Scallops have such a fine, luxurious quality, they are the perfect seafood to make mousse.

1 pound (sea or bay) scallops, muscle removed, rinsed and patted dry

1 egg

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon chopped chives

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup white wine

Place the scallops, cream, egg, salt and pepper into a bowl and place in your freezer.  Place the bowl and blade of your food processor in freezer as well.  The friction of the food processor will create heat and if all your ingredients are close to freezing and you’re careful with the food processor, the final texture will be resplendent.   Now place the shallots, garlic and butter in a small sauce pan and lightly cook over medium heat.  You’ll want to avoid getting the butter bubbling hot, you don’t want the butter browning, just slowly simmering.  When the shallots and garlic have turned translucent (You should be able to almost see through them if you held one of your shallot pieces up to the recessed light in your kitchen’s ceiling) add the white wine and let this simmer until the wine has reduced by half.  Remove this from heat and chill this down as well.  After about ten minues in the freezer, place the scallops, cream and egg in the bowl of the food processor along with the wine, shallots and garlic.  Blend in short pulses until you achieve a smooth paste.  This should only take about sixty seconds or so.  Toss in the herbs then pulse again, just enough to incorporate the herbs but if you blend too much, you’ll make a green mousse and St. Patrick’s Day is long gone.

This is going to make enough for eight orders of trout with a bit leftover for fritters.

I started with two very thin slices of Benton's Country Ham, notice how they are slighly overlapping.

 

 

Next I placed one filet of trout right there and lightly seasoned it. The trout has been skinned.

 

The trout filet gets covered with the scallop mousse.

Another filet of trout goes on top

 

Wrap the trout tightly, just as if you were wrapping a burrito

 

I made a dozen of these

 

Here it is on the plate, I placed about a quarter cup of grits, the baby carrots and morels were sauteed then finished with the scallions and lobster stock then swirled with a little butter, salt and pepper and the trout went on top of that. Then a teaspoon of sweet red pepper jam, fresh chives and a scallop mousse fritter. The fritter was a tablespoon of the mousse that I rolled in sweet potato breadcrumbs (leftover sweet potato yeast rolls that we turned into crumbs) and deep-fried. We sold out of the trout in about an hour.

 

 

Here's another view, I brushed off those chives in the right corner of the plate before sending this one out. I like my special plates to have a lot of white space bordering the food. That makes the dish really jump out when it's set in front of the customer.

 

 

 

Author: ChefJohn

Cook without tattoo, writer without a pen

4 Comments

  1. Love all seafood and this sounds and looks delicious, not surprised you sold out

  2. Clearly this is not the time when “Special” refers to ‘we have to move this out tonight or pitch it!’ . I might call it “Tonight’s Brilliant” or “Tonight’s Magnificent”; but that’s cumbersome. Keep doing what you are doing, which is so working.

  3. Wonderful. I am a tiny foodie with aspirations and your post gives me hope. Love it.

  4. You, my friend, are amazing! *I’m hungry*

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