Thursday, May 24, 2012

Home Cookin'....Jayson Lewellyn puts my kitchen to use

Chef Jayson Lewellyn came over with a shopping bag full of tasty vittles.  The menu for the evening was seared scallops with a buttermilk spinach sauce, mussels, and poached peaches with creme fraich and candied walnuts.
Here Jayson is setting up the scallops to dry out a bit, keeping them tight and supported so they don't turn into mush.  They sat this way for a few hours while we worked on the rest of the prep.
Here is the fennel for the mussels.  Cross-cutting at an alternating angle allows the fennel to disperse flavor evenly over a period of time.
These candied walnuts were like popcorn!  He boiled them in simple syrup for a few minutes, then deep fried and salted them.  These were great for the ladies to nosh on while we got the rest of the dinner put together.  They also made it onto our dessert.
Here Jayson is working on the sauce for the scallops, which involved spinach, buttermilk, herbs de provence, white wine, and a few other things.
Here Jayson is pitting the peaches that had been poached in the same simple syrup as the walnuts.
Garlic, white balsamic, basil, safflower oil, fennel and onions were blended together for our vinaigrette.
Listening for the change in pitch that signals proper emulsification.
Here are the first batch of scallops hitting the pan.
The scallops and some cauliflower getting ready for plating.
The mussels were first tossed with a little oil, white wine, fennel, and fresh chopped herbs de provence before hitting the pre-heated Dutch oven.
The scallops and cauliflower with buttermilk spinach sauce and split peas.  The texture of the scallops was perfect and the sauce had an herby/earthy tone that played well with the sweetness of them.
The mussels were plump and fantastic.  He topped them with a little grated parm and served with crusty slices of baguette for dipping.

The peaches were served chilled with creme fraiche we started making at the beginning of the prep, candied walnuts, and lemon zest.
The texture of the peaches was perfect. They retained just enough bite so that you could tell it was a peach.  I love poached pears, but they always seem to lose their texture.

A great meal was had by all.  It was a lot of fun to be Jayson's sous and help put it together as well.  Moving forward you will likely see more posts like this as we test more recipes and refine them for locally available ingredients.  Hope you enjoy the pictures...too bad you can't taste them!
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