SEARED SCALLOPS IN MUSHROOM BROTH
A rich mushroom base used as a soupy sauce for the scallops makes a vibrant first course with one scallop or main course with three. You can buy large bags of dried shiitake mushrooms quite inexpensively at Asian food shops.
- SHIITAKE BROTH
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced onions
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced carrots
- 2 oz (60 g) dried shiitake mushrooms
- 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed (and reserved), caps quartered
- 8 cups (2 L) water
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 12 scallops
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped chives
- Chive flowers (optional)
1 Combine onions, carrots, dried shiitake mushrooms, fresh shiitake mushroom stems and water in a large pot and bring to boil over high heat. Add soy sauce, reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 hour or until broth is very flavourful. Strain broth, pushing down on mushrooms to squeeze out all liquid.
2 Return broth to pot, bring to a simmer, and reduce to about 11/2 cups (375 mL). Add fresh shiitake mushrooms and simmer for 4 minutes or until softened. Remove mushrooms and set aside. Swirl in 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter (reserving remainder) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reheat or keep warm.
3 Heat remaining 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter and oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper and sear on each side for 2 minutes or until just opaque.
4 Divide broth between 4 soup plates, add scallops and shiitake mushrooms and scatter with chives and chive flowers, if using.
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