One more desacralization of the venerated scallop! And a pure delight at the same time! The above seemingly simple toast was realised following a recipe from “La Cuisine de Fumiko Kono” by Fumiko Kono (狐野扶実子), a Japanese chef fascinated by the French cuisine. When my husband offered me this book I had been dreaming of, I was in heaven, but at the same time thought it would be one of those cookery books I read, admire, devour with my eyes, but never use in the kitchen. However, I quickly realised Fumiko’s style, albeit obviously in the category of what the French call haute cuisine, lacks the usual stiffness and seriousness, adds a joyful and playful dimension and thus emboldens the reader, namely me, to try out the scarily precise and beautifully presented inventions and even to omit and modify certain points.
Scallops and Red Onions on Toast were my first choice, since the scallop is one of my favourite sea creature. Even though serving scallops on toast may seem very down-to-earth or even disrespectful, the ingredients create a very unusual and surprising combination. If prepared with good quality bread (a nice crunchy baguette is perfect here) these toasts impress everyone.
Preparation: 10-15 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4):
12 big scallops (3 per person)
4 slices crunchy good quality bread or 1 baguette
30 g salted butter
4 heaped tablespoons cream cheese (in France St – Môret is the best)
40 g radish (I didn’t have any, so you won’t see it at the above photo)
320 g red onions
fresh coriander leaves
2/3 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (the second time I made these toasts I used good, Japanese rice vinegar and the result was very good too)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
good quality sea salt (fleur de sel if you can find)
Peel the onions. Put aside one onion, slice the rest and sauté in butter until they are soft and slightly caramelised.
Pour the vinegar, let it evaporate, stirring.
Slice the radish and the remaining onion very thinly and let them soak 3 minutes in ice cold water. Drain them, pat them dry and put aside.
Sauté the dried scallops in oil, 2 min on each side, on a very hot frying pan.
Cut them in two (height-wise) and sprinkle with a bit of salt.
Spread the cream cheese on bread, place the fried onions, the scallops, the radish and the thin raw onion rings (I have forgotten this step on the photo above, but don’t forget to add the thin rings, the crunchy side is delicious!).
Decorate with coriander leaves and serve.