They say the whole is greater
Than the sum of the parts it's made of. ("Love Song," Pippin)
The above song lyrics by Stephen Schwarz refer to love, but they could just as easily have been written for this Chowder. I knew I wanted to use my Spice Rub since I hadn't in a while and I was curious how the bite of Smoked Paprika would pair with the sweetness of Sea Scallops. My favorite way to make Scallops is to pan-fry them, so I decided to do that. To accompany my Scallops, though, I didn't want to just steam some Broccoli Raab on the side or anything quite as simple as that. It's winter and I wanted soup. So, I decided on a simple Cauliflower Chowder, that I adapted from a similar soup recipe in The Weekday Cook, a small book published by Bon Appetit in the '80's that's a compilation of fast, easy recipes from their Weekday Cook column.
My real burst of inspiration, however, came when I was plating. As I took down bowls and plates to set the table I realized--why not add the Scallops to the Chowder? That way the spiciness of the Spice Rub would be dulled by the Chowder, which could use a lift anyway. The result was sublime--a definite winner. Enjoy!
Bisque de chou-fleur et de coquilles
- 1 tablespoon Lady Amalthea's Spice Rub, or your favorite rub
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 pound Sea Scallops
- 4 slices Bacon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Butter
- 3 Green Onions, chopped + 2 Green Onions, white and green parts chopped separately
- 1 Yukon Gold Potato, peeled and diced
- 1 slice Mango, diced
- 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper, freshly ground
- 1 3/4 cups Clam Juice
- 1 1/2 cups Low-Fat Milk
- 1 1/2 cups Cauliflower Florets
- Olive Oil
First, marinate Scallops. Combine Spice Rub and Garlic in Spice Grinder or with a Mortar and Pestle until you have an even paste. Toss with Scallops in a glass bowl. Cover with Plastic Wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Next, make the Chowder. Cook Bacon in a large, heavy pot over a medium-low flame for 12 minutes, until Bacon begins to brown. Remove to paper towel-lined plate with a Slotted Spoon. Add 1 tablespoon Butter to pan, turn flame down to low, and melt. Add 3 Green Onions and cook 8 minutes, until tender. Add Potato, Mango, Salt and Pepper. Stir well and cook 5 minutes. Stir in Clam Juice, raise flame back up to medium-low and simmer, 5 minutes. Add Milk and Cauliflower and simmer 20 minutes, until Potato is tender.
Meanwhile, bring Scallops to room temperature. Lightly coat a saute pan with Olive Oil. Heat over a medium flame. When hot, add Scallops. Cook 3 minutes, then flip and cook 3 minutes on other side, until cooked through.
While Scallops are finising up, add Bacon to Chowder and simmer 3 minutes, stirring gently. Add whites of Green Onions. Ladle into Soup Bowls. Add 1 teaspoon Butter to each bowl. Sprinkle with greens of Green Onions. Add Scallops, divided evenly between the bowls.
Links to other delicious-sounding Chowder Recipes:
- Smoked Turkey Chowder from A Veggie Venture