One of the most defining aspects of French cuisine is the importance of presenting a dish well and, even more importantly, of arousing the appetite before the main courses. Therefore, our French cousins invented the amuse-bouche, a kind of pre-appetizer that is served free of charge to customers in restaurants and usually prepared according to the chef’s creativity. However, aside from inventiveness, the only rule it must adhere to is that it should be a small portion and preferably consumed in one bite. Therefore, in the imagination of our kitchen, today we present the polenta and scallop amuse-bouche.
It is a perfect prelude for a special dinner or simply a nice way to welcome your guests while they sip a glass of Prosecco! Thanks to the base of grilled polenta and garnished with scallops and a diced apple caramelized in brandy, it will make you look great. A nugget of pure elegance and flavor that you cannot miss: hurry to the stove and discover the polenta and scallop amuse-bouche!
– 110g of wholemeal maize flour for instant polenta
– 8 scallops (240g)
– 2 Granny Smith apples (about 400g)
– 430g water
– 50g brandy
– 10g brown sugar
– 60g extra virgin olive oil
– Salt to taste
– White pepper to taste
Preparation: 25 min
Cooking: 20 min
Yield: 8 pieces
1. To prepare the polenta and scallop amuse-bouche, start by pouring 5g of oil into a 28x20cm pan and set it aside.
2. Meanwhile, put a pot of water on the heat. When it reaches boiling point, add salt and about 10g of oil.
3. Then, sprinkle the instant polenta flour while stirring vigorously with a whisk (or a wooden spoon) to prevent lumps from forming.
4. Continue to stir continuously for 8 minutes until a consistent and dry polenta is obtained.
5. Transfer the polenta to the tray and smooth it with a spatula until it reaches a thickness of 0.5 cm, without spreading it over the entire surface.
6. Cover with cling film and let cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
7. While the polenta is cooling, prepare the apples. Cut them into quarters and remove the core.
8. Cut them into pieces about 2 cm long and collect them in a container.
9. In a pan, heat 20g of oil and then pour in the apples.
10. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes over high heat. Add the brandy and let it evaporate (be careful of any flames!).
11. Add brown sugar and let it caramelize for a few minutes. At this point, the apples will be ready, so cover them with a lid and set them aside.
12. Take the polenta again and, using a 6.5 cm diameter pastry cutter, cut out 8 disks.
13. Heat a grill and sprinkle it with 10g of oil.
14. Place the disks on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side; then turn them over and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes until done.
15. Finally, cook the scallops. Heat a pan with the remaining oil and add the scallops, cooking them for 2 minutes on each side over medium-high heat.
16. Season with salt and white pepper and stir frequently to prevent them from sticking.
To finish, arrange the polenta disks on a board, place the scallops, then the apples. Finally, garnish the polenta and scallop amuse-bouche with some mint leaves and you are ready to impress your guests!
It is recommended to consume it promptly, but you can store it for up to 24 hours in a tightly sealed container. You can prepare the polenta in advance and then cook the other ingredients at the time of serving.
To make the polenta and scallop amuse-bouche more special, try using more refined ingredients like black salt and pink pepper: they will give a beautiful chromatic effect and make the finished dish tastier! The leftover polenta is an excellent snack: dip it in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs and finally fry it in hot oil!