½ (one half) cup dry morel mushrooms
1 ½ (one and one half) cups hot chicken stock
2 lbs. large sea scallops (tough connector muscle removed, sliced in half horizontally if very large)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces prosciutto thinly sliced and then chopped (½ cup)
½ cup finely chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons brandy
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 Recipe for Pea Sauce
Scallops with Prosciutto and Morels
Capesante con il Prosciutto a i Funghi di bosco
Yield: 6 generous portions
Pour the hot chicken stock over the mushrooms and let soak for at least 30 minutes to reconstitute. Strain the mushrooms, reserving the stock. Cut the morels in quarters.
Make the peas sauce, and while the sauce is cooking,pat the scallops dry and toss with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until sizzling. Sear half of the scallops until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and repeat.
Using the same pan, reduce the heat to medium and sauté the morels, prosciutto and the onions in the remaining olive oil. Cook until the onions soften and start to brown, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Deglaze the pan with brandy and gently stir to pick up any flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the brandy by half. Add the remaining chicken stock and the salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil then simmer to reduce by half, 4-5 minutes. Return the scallops and their accumulated juices to the pan and re-heat in the mushroom mixture until just warmed through. Melt in the optional butter for a flavorful, glistening effect.
To serve, spoon the pea sauce onto a serving dish and spoon the scallop mixture onto the center. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.
Use dried chanterelles or porcini mushrooms for interesting flavor variations