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Friday, September 28, 2012

Recipe: Poached Scallop with Coconut Raita

This was the third pairing that was offered at the Only Cafe beer and food pairing. The beer that was paired with the scallop was Denison's Weissbier.

What is it? 
It was a chilled poached scallop topped with smoked salt and served on a dollop of spiced coconut and yoghurt sauce.

Why did you choose this?
We were into the third course and this is where you generally have your main. Since we were doing tastes, it made sense to have a nice small protein that didn't have to be heated (remember no kitchen). Fabian at the only originally suggested scallops and I balked a  little bit because I wasn't sure that I could sear off site and expect the sear to maintain its texture for an extended time. I knew that I really liked Denison's and white beers and seafood really go well. So, I tried poaching the scallops in a few liquids and too many left the scallop flat tasting. Then I remembered wine poached scallops, so why not beer? 

Why this tasting?
Witbier, weisse, and white beers tend to share some common attributes. Banana smells with clove tastes. These flavours seem to go well with the subtle tastes of fish and seafood. To further the tropical spicing and notes, nutmeg, cinnamon and fresh coconut were mixed with coconut milk. For many people, these spices are banana bread spices that I feel deepens the beer. After all, beer is bread. Often with a lighter tasting brew, there is little notice of anything more than the hops, malt and obvious spice. This was my favourite pairing of the night.

So, what is the recipe?
Poached Scallop
Get a quantity of scallops. Cover scallops with beer (drink the rest). Poach until firm. Timing depends on size of the scallop but ten minutes is probably too long and 1 minute is too little. Do this step by feel. Chill the scallop. <aside>I often use the poaching liquid as a stock or reduce it, adjust seasonings and make it into a sauce. </aside>

Coconut Raita
Take about 150ml of coconut milk. Add 2 Tbsp thick yoghurt. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Let sit overnight in fridge. Taste again and adjust sweetness/sourness to your palette.

Putting it all together
Dollop of raita. Scallop on top. Drop or two of lime juice. Few grains of smoked salt.

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