Fish Carpaccio with Vanilla Bean and Olive Oil Dressing
1 1/2 lb white fish fillets (John Dory, Monkfish, or other VERY FRESH firm-fleshed fish)
1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste
Split the vanilla bean lenghtwise and scrape the seeds into the olive oil.
Using a pastry brush, coat 6 serving plates with this mixture.
Cut the fish fillets into extremely fine slices and arrange them on the plates.
Brush each slice well with the vanilla oil.
Salt lightly and brush again.
Cover plates with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes before serving.
Diver Scallop Sabayon with Wild Mushroom and Fingerling Potatoes
24 large scallops
1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, cooked, peeled and cooled
2 1/4 lb fresh porcini or other wild mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into medium-sized pieces
3 sticks (3/4 lb) butter
2 cups dry white wine
1 shallot, minced
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup soft peaks whipped cream
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cut the potatoes the same size as the mushroom pieces
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook the mushrooms and the potatoes together until golden, about 10 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat and sear the scallops until golden, about 3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and keep warm.
Preheat the broiler. Dice the remaining 2 1/2 sticks of butter for the sauce.
In a small saucepan put the wine and the shallot and reduce by half over high heat. Remove from heat and add the diced butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating with a wire whisk until slightly thickened.
In the top of a double boiler, beat the 2 egg yolks, place over a pan of barely simmering water, and pour the wine butter little by little into the yolks, whisking constantly; never allow the mixture to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the whipped cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the mushroom and potato mixture among 6 heatproof serving plates. Arrange 4 scallops on each plate and spoon the sabayon sauce over them. Put the plates under the broiler until the top just turns golden, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Spiced Apple and Pear Feuillete
2 lb cooking apples (Granny Smith, Jonathan, or Rome Beauty)
2 lb Bartlett pears
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
12 oz puff pastry
Butter, for greasing cookie sheet
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons orange flower water
Preheat oven to 425 F. Peel the apples and the pears and cut them into large dice.
Put the fruit in a large saucepan with all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar and stir to blend well. Add the cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, and simmer until the fruit is just barely soft, like a chunky sauce, about 20 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
Meanwhile, divide the puff pastry into 6 diamond shapes. Make 5 slits lenghtwise in each: 3 along the central axis and 1 on each side. Lay the diamonds on a buttered cookie sheet.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk, orange flower water, and the remaining tablespoon of sugar and brush the surface of the pastry diamonds with this mixture.
Bake until golden and risen, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Divide the fruit compote among 6 serving plates, and place a golden pastry beside each.