Photo by Gary Gilbert
Provenance of Dish
An evolution from a basic morels in cream sauce recipe with less cream and and the use of the earthy taste of bourbon. Trumpets work very well with seafood and this dish is a delight to behold because of the neat and colorful layered pile that is presented. You could substitute halibut or lobster meat if desired.
16 large scallops, small piece of muscle removed
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 lbs. spinach, stems removed if using large leaf
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
7 Black Trumpets per person
3/8 Cup bourbon or scotch
3/4 C heavy cream
1 cup rice, yields about 2 cups cooked
(Craterellus fallax was the specific species of Black Trumpet I used but equivalent to any other Trumpet species.)
If using dried trumpets, break them up a bit, heat the cream about 1 minute in the microwave and reconstitute them for 5 minutes or so in the cream until soft. For fresh trumpets, cut them into pieces small enough to fit on a fork when cooked.
Steam the spinach and set aside to cool. Squeeze the water out of it very well.
Sauté the shallots in 1 tablespoon butter for 5 minutes on med-low heat.
Add the trumpets to the shallots (removed from the cream if reconstituting) and cook together an additional 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir often.
Add the bourbon and stir frequently while reducing it until the pan approaches being dry. Add the garlic for the last half minute or so. Add the cream and, once it starts to boil, reduce heat to lowest setting. Stir occasionally while cooking the scallops. You want the cream to reduce to about half its volume. Shut the heat off once thickened.
Heat the remaining butter and olive oil on med-high heat, as it begins to smoke but not burn, set the scallops in and do not move them as they brown on one side. This takes less than 5 minutes. Once nicely browned, turn each scallop over individually to brown again on the other side. Remove from the pan immediately once cooked.
Assemble the dish by placing about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of rice in the center of each plate. Place one quarter of the spinach on top of that. Place 4 scallops on top of the spinach. Do this for all the plates and then top each pile with one quarter of the trumpets in cream sauce.