So here’s my number. Cook me, hurry!
Introducing this summer’s smash hit…coconut and lime curry broth.
I poured it over delicate scallops that I bought at the farmers market on Saturday morning. They were still in-the-shell and smelled like purified ocean. Barely cooked, just warmed in a bowl, with a generous splash of lime curry broth and a few fresh cilantro leaves, the dish was both tender and bold. Subtly spicy. Divine. Maybe the best thing about this broth is that you can pour it over almost any cooked vegetable or meat and it will likely make it taste even better. I made extra and poured it over brown rice with roasted eggplant and tomatoes. Yes.
I just finished reading Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir titled, Yes, Chef. I highly suggest it. The very fact that he has written a memoir and he’s only 42 years old give you an idea of how rich his life has been. I have deep respect for that man. He is both driven and thoughtful. There’s a spot in the book almost halfway through when he writes of his first time exploring Asian flavors. The food was a revelation.
“The flavors went from black-and-white to technicolor. I tasted coconut milk and lemongrass in hundreds of preparations, sweet and savory, and I thought, This is it: This food has as much integrity and power as any French food I’d even eaten. Who started the lie that France had the greatest food in the world?”
I have always loved the food of Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Thailand in particular, but I feel stifled and skittish when it comes to actually cooking it. I typically don’t have the proper ingredients on hand and so I opt to eat at a restaurant instead. Silly me! Turns out that a few of the ingredient essentials – coconut milk and Thai curry paste – keep almost forever, so there’s no reason not to purchase them immediately and store them at home. It’s just the lemongrass, cilantro, ginger and garlic that I need to buy fresh. None of it is bulky and fits in my purse on an impromptu trip to the grocer. So, curry up and get cooking!
Scallops with Curry-Lime Broth
Adapted from Avec Eric
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sliced ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
1 shallot, sliced
small handful of chopped cilantro
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
12 ounces sea scallops
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lime, cut in half
cilantro leaves for garnish
To make the broth, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium low heat; add the ginger, lemongrass, garlic and shallot. Sweat until tender being careful not to color. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cilantro, coconut milk and curry paste and continue simmering for another 5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Slice the scallops crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices and lay the slices in a single layer on the bottom of a shallow bowl.
Gently warm the bowls with the scallops in the oven until warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. While the scallops are heating, re-warm the curry sauce.
Spoon ¼ cup of the sauce over the scallops, squeeze lime juice on top, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately.
Bonus! Scallop shells make excellent candle holders…