We are proud to introduce a new column beginning this month, Top Shelf. Charter Chef Mark Godbeer will share his tips and recipes for delivering the best tasting dishes on limited time. Mark takes complex dishes and makes recipes more user friendly to help new chefs, untrained cooks and even seasoned veterans.
Seared Scallops with a Pancetta, Sweet Chili and Mixed Bean Ragout
This is always a great way to start a meal. The richness and saltiness of the ragout pairs heavenly with the scallops and yogurt dressing. This being said, it’s even better to write/plan for the menu, as preparation and attentiveness to this recipe is at a minimum. It’s a perfect dish to prepare when you have an intricate main or dessert that requires most of your attention.
Also, having the pancetta as such a prominent ingredient, makes this a fun “surf and turf”.
Feeds 10 (3 scallops/guest)
1/2 lb pancetta, chopped
1/2 stick salted butter
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 can white beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup sweet chili sauce
30 (u6) scallops
Salt and pepper to season scallops
4 tbsp olive oil
In a non-stick pan, saute pancetta for 15 minutes on medium heat until most pieces are crispy. Remove from pan, but don’t clean the pan.
Add butter to pan. Keeping on a medium heat, let the butter begin to brown. It will give off a nutty scent and is known as brown butter.
Add onions, garlic and thyme. Cook until sweated off, about 5 minutes.
Add pancetta back in and the beans. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add sweet chili and cook for 25-30 minutes on medium-low heat.
In a separate pan, sauté the seasoned scallops in olive oil on a medium heat, about 1 minute on each side and until a nice sear is obtained.
Place all semi-cooked scallops on a baking sheet and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When guests are being watered and wined, pop them in the oven for 5 minutes.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay out pancetta pieces.
Top with another layer of parchment and place another baking tray (exact size) on top.
Place tray in a convection oven at 350 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes or until pancetta is crisp.
Keep in an airtight container until needed.
Empty a tub of Greek yogurt into a sieve/strainer lined with a coffee filter. Let stand over a bowl for 30 minutes.
Discard drippings and place yogurt in a bowl, add juice of 1 lemon, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 bunch chopped dill and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Mix well and refrigerate until needed.
Begin with a spoonful of beans in the center of a plate. Pat down with the back of a spoon to resemble a plateau.
Top with three scallops, a spoonful of lemon yogurt and finish with a spear of pancetta crisp.
Mark Godbeer, a culinary-trained chef from South Africa, has been professionally cooking for more than 11 years, 9 of which have been on yachts. Comments on this recipe are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.