Chef Castan was in Temecula at the beginning of the year, and asked a vendor if he could blend his own olive oil. They agreed, and Frederic created a combination that was mild enough for most palates, but flavorful enough to finish well with most dishes. The 100% organic "Chef's Blend" will be available in their gift shop by the time you read this.
Their kitchen receives the scallops the day after they are caught. They arrive carefully packed, as it is a fragile ingredient. All vegetables come from surrounding organic farms, making the flavors more intense.
In addition, "I also used piment d'Espelette, a chili pepper coming from the only place in the world that produces it, Basque country in France. That pepper has a very unique fragrance and spice flavor. I also use a spice coming from Morocco called Ras El Hanout to bring the Mediterranean flavors to the dish. And, of course, I am using a very flavorful olive oil from Temecula Olive Oil Company. Entirely organic, and very fruity from the flavors of lemon, blood orange, roasted garlic, chili, and so on."
Read our interview with Frederic Castan of Motif Restaurant, Part Two.
And now, on to Part Three. . . .
Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Green Pea Puree and Organic Carrot Emulsion
12 large, fresh sea scallops
1 teaspoon Espelette pepper (found in specialty stores)
12 ounces English green peas
10 ounces organic carrot juice
1 ginger root, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a little for cooking
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout spice (also found in specialty stores)
1 tablespoon lemon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Shaved radish for garnish (optional)
Micro greens for garnish (optional)
Marinate the scallops in half the ginger root and 1/2 cup olive oil for up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Fill a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Add green peas and boil until tender. Drain. Add the peas to an ice water bath. Once cooled, drain and puree in a blender with a little bit of water until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
Heat a sauce pot over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, shallots, Ras El Hanout spice, and ginger. Mix together and add the carrot juice. Simmer until reduced. Do not reduce too quickly, otherwise your sauce may separate.
Strain reduction and discard ginger and shallots; keep the juices. Add juices back to the sauce pan. Add lemon olive oil and puree with a hand blender until emulsified.
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Remove scallops from marinade and lightly dust with Espelette pepper. Heat a dash of olive oil in a skillet on high heat and pan sear the scallops to medium rare.
Warm the pea puree in a sauce pan; add heavy cream and a bit of salt and pepper.
To plate: Plate the scallops, and spoon the warmed green pea puree onto the plate. Drizzle the scallops with carrot emulsion, and garnish with radishes and micro greens (optional).