By Chef-Owner at Le Club Chasse et Pêche, Claude Pelletier
This is our signature dish.
It is the only one of our recipes that dates back to our first menu tasting—before the restaurant had opened—and it has never changed. It was on our menu on opening night, nearly 11 years ago, and it has never come off. Everybody likes it. The dish has a perfect balance of flavour, and a nice clean presentation. It’s actually pretty simple to put together, but you do need a very powerful blender to properly emulsify the purée of lemon zest confit. We use a Thermomix. A Vita-prep would also work. A regular blender won’t deliver a smooth enough texture but you’ll still get the flavour.
– Claude Pelletier
Lemon Confit Cream:
- 200 mL (about ¾ cup) confit of lemon zest*
- 200 mL (about ¾ cup) whipping cream
- 200 mL (about ¾ cup) milk
- ½ bulb fennel, thinly sliced
- 250 mL (about 1 cup) whipping cream
- 250 mL (about 1 cup) milk
- Salt and white pepper
- 12 large (U10) dry-packed sea scallops
- 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
- Fleur de sel
- Mixed micro greens (like chard, lovage and chervil)
4 Servings (as an appetizer)
To make the lemon sauce, combine zest, cream and milk in a saucepan and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a powerful food processor and process at maximum speed until smooth and glistening. Reserve.
For the fennel purée, combine fennel, milk and cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until fennel is soft—about 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer fennel to the bowl of a food processor. Add ¼ cup of the cooking liquid, and process until smooth. Add more liquid as needed to get a smooth purée. Then correct seasonings, and set aside.
For the scallops, heat a large cast iron skillet on high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the grapeseed oil, and then the scallops (be careful to not crowd the pan—better to use two, if necessary). When the scallops are bronzed and crisp—about two to three minutes—remove to a warm platter, seared side up. Dab with paper towels and then sprinkle generously with fleur de sel.
To finish, spread 1 tbsp of fennel purée on each of four warmed plates. Arrange three scallops on top, drizzle with 1 tbsp lemon sauce, and scatter with micro-greens. Serve.
*For confit of lemon zest, place fresh zest in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat— twice. Then simmer in simple syrup for 20 to 30 minutes.