This was actually from a week or two ago, not long before a real cold snap; much more than just a heavy frost. Luckily, I had harvested the few brussels sprouts that were ready. Not many, but great eating these straight from the garden.
I had a friend over and wanted to try this dish out. We were discussing our favourite way of eating brussels sprouts: mine is to cut them in half, place cut side down in a hot pan with olive oil and butter to caramelize then add some stock and cook until tender. She said she takes them apart leaf by leaf before cooking; that is the best way to ensure they are evenly cooked. I have to agree.
The bottom layer of the stack is some of that delicious fennel and potato gratin dish I posted a while back (but it's not super obvious from the pictures, you can just see a bit of white poking out). I could make that every week and not get tired of it! But it's not necessary for the dish; I was just looking for a bit more substance after a long day of ... well, just hanging out, I guess! Oh yeah, and a little bit of yard work after the nasty windstorm blew apart my greenhouse.
Serves 2 as an appetizer or more of a small meal with the gratin added in.
3-4 large sea scallops
1 round of thickly cut pancetta, diced
3 cups brussels sprouts, root removed and leaves separated
Fennel and potato gratin (optional) - see recipe here
Season the scallops on top and bottom with salt and pepper. Bring the same pan back to medium high heat; add olive oil if needed (but there may still be fat left from the pancetta). Sear the scallops on both sides for just a minute or so (scallops can be served quite rare).
On each plate, start with a layer of the fennel-potato on a plate, add some of the brussels sprouts/pancetta mixture next, then top with a seared scallop. Serve immediately.
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