March 20, 2013

Maine chef Sam Hayward pitches in on new cookbook

The Fore Street chef provides a tasty recipe for the Chefs Collaborative effort.

By Meredith Goad
Staff Writer

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Sam Hayward’s sea scallops with saffron and cider dish looks perfect for this time of year.

Photo by Genti and Hyers

Hayward is the lone Maine chef featured, and his scallop dish looks perfect for this time of year.



From "The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook" by the Chefs Collaborative and Ellen Jackson. Recipe by Sam Hayward, Fore Street, Portland

Sea scallops are as delicious raw as cooked. Sear them quickly in a hot cast-iron skillet, keeping the interiors cool and mostly raw so that their mild sweet flavor shines through. Scallop season in Maine runs from December through April. The other ingredients in this recipe are easy to find in the winter months.

Servings: Six

2 teaspoons fresh chervil leaves

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped winter savory

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

2 ounces apple-smoked slab bacon (without the rind), cut into ¼-inch dice

1 cup safflower, peanut or grapeseed oil

Kosher salt

4 ounces celery root, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

2 ounces firm dense winter squash, like butternut, kuri, or blue hubbard, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

1 medium leek, white part only, rinsed and cut into ¼-inch dice

3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups dry hard cider

Large pinch of saffron threads; more for garnish

1 cup heavy cream, preferably unpasteurized

Sea salt

Aleppo pepper

1/2 cup baby bok choy leaves, loosely packed

1 1/2 pounds jumbo sea scallops (U-10 to U-16), connective tissue trimmed and patted dry

Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the chervil, savory and chives in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the bacon in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and cover with the oil. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to very low, and continue to cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes until the bacon is tender but not browned. Cool the bacon to room temperature in the oil, remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

While the bacon is cooling, bring a pan of generously salted water to a boil. Blanch the diced vegetables in the boiling salted water, then drain and refresh in cold water.

Combine the apple-cider vinegar and hard cider in a nonreactive saucepan and reduce by about three-fourths, to 1/2 cup.

Meanwhile, add a large pinch of the saffron threads to a dry frying pan over medium-high heat until fragrant. Whisk the saffron threads and cream into the reduced cider mixture, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Season with sea salt and a pinch of Aleppo pepper. Keep warm.

Just before cooking the scallops, combine the blanched vegetables, bacon, and bok choy leaves in a small frying pan with a little of the oil. Saute quickly to heat through and gently wilt the bok choy. Keep warm.

Generously season the scallops with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over high heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil, or enough to lightly film the bottom.

Working in batches, carefully add the scallops to the hot pan without crowding. Sear on one side for about 2 minutes, or until brown, then turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more on the other side. Remove from the pan to a platter and keep warm. Continue cooking the scallops in batches, making sure the pan is very hot each time and being careful not to overcook them. They should be well seared on both flat surfaces but still translucent and barely warm in the center.

To serve, divide the hot, seared scallops among six plates. Drizzle some of the saffron cream sauce around them. Sprinkle the sauteed vegetables and bacon over and around them, and garnish with a pinch of the herb mixture and a few saffron threads.


Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

Twitter: MeredithGoad


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