Black Tie Scallops Recipe

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Ever wish you could eat at New York City's legendary Le Cirque every night? We sure do, but thankfully (for our wallets) we received a copy of A Table At Le Cirque and have been cooking our way through ever since. Next up, a signature truffled scallop dish by Daniel Boulud.

Critic Bryan Miller judged Daniel Boulud's "sea scallops fantasy in black tie" (its name on a 1987 menu), "unforgettable . . . an individual silver casserole dish of exquisite sliced sea scallops layered with black truffles, moistened with buttery vermouth and truffle juice." The recipe evolved into one of Boulud's iconic creations; ultimately, the chef wrapped each whole Maine sea scallop (layered with truffles) in spinach leaves and baked it in a crisp puff-pastry shell. It may require a lot of labor, but for home cooks it's entirely doable, and just as memorable.

Black Tie Scallops Recipe
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  • all-purporse flour
  • 8 ounces cold all-butter puff pastry dough
  • salt
  • 12 large spinach or Swiss chard leaves
  • 8 large sea scallops (see Tips)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 fresh black truffle (about 1 ounce)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons ruby port
  • 2 tablespoons demiglace
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry dough 1/16-inch thick.
  2. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 8 rounds slightly larger than the scallops.
  3. Cut out eight 2-by 7-inch rectangles.
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate.
  5. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Salt the water.
  6. Fill a medium bowl with ice water.
  7. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel.
  8. Add the spinach to the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  9. Drain and transfer to the ice water so it cools as quickly as possible, about 1 minute.
  10. Drain, shaking off the water.
  11. Carefully unfurl each leaf on the towel, without overlapping. Pat dry with paper towels.
  12. Make 2 parallel horizontal cuts in each scallop, cutting almost but not all the way through.
  13. Season each cut with salt and pepper and insert a truffle slice.
  14. Set a stuffed scallop on a spinach leaf and wrap the scallop, using additional leaves if needed. Reserve the remaining truffle slices.
  15. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
  16. Brush 1 narrow end of a pastry rectangle with the egg wash.
  17. Set a wrapped scallop on its side at the opposite end and roll up the scallop.
  18. Brush 1 pastry round with egg wash, set the scallop horizontally on top, and press the rectangle and round together to seal.
  19. Pinch the dough on top to seal like a dumpling.
  20. Trim the bottom pastry to neaten.
  21. Repeat with the remaining scallops. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Refrigerate the remaining egg wash.
  22. Heat the oven to 450°F.
  23. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick liner or parchment paper.
  24. Brush the scallop rounds with the remaining egg wash and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  25. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
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