Joe helped me to kick off this week with a new food challenge. You can see beets, horseradish, and a mysterious white package pictured. I got one of Chef Ramsay’s favorites…scallops! Joe also mentioned that part of my challenge was using the beets AND the beet greens. He was also very generous in extending my challenge time to 1 hour and 15 minutes instead of one hour because he’d done his homework on cooking beets.
First, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees. I cut the ends off of each beat, drizzled a little olive oil on them, and individually wrapped them in aluminum foil to roast. I roasted them for 45 minutes.
While the beats roasted, I chopped one shallot and minced two cloves of garlic. I sauteed them in olive oil for about 5 minutes. I pulled about one tablespoon of this mixture out and placed it into a second saute pan.
In the remaining shallot and garlic mix, I added 2 tablespoons of goat cheese and kept it on medium heat until it melted. I set this aside for later.
Then, I mixed up a cajun seasoning mix. I used 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then I added 1/4 teaspoon of paprika and cayenne pepper.
Chop the beet greens into bite sized pieces (avoid using the stems) and put them into the second sautee pan (the one with a tablespoon of shallot and garlic mixture) and a little olive oil. Put them on medium low heat and toss occassionally until wilted.
Next, it is time to start the scallops. I rinsed them and patted each dry. Lightly sprinkle each side with the cajun seasoning mix. Place them in a third sautee pan in olive oil on medium heat. You will cook for about 5 minutes on each side.
While the scallops are cooking on the first side, peel the skins off of the beets. Careful! They are very hot! Put the beets and the shallot, garlic, and goat cheese mixture into a blender. Blend until you have a consistency like mashed potatoes.
The final dish is cajun scallops over sauteed beet greens served with beet mash. I added horseradish and cocktail sauce as a scallop garnish and a touch of goat cheese as the beet mash garnish. For future reference: No horseradish or cocktail sauce is needed – the cajun seasoning is perfect!
The verdict? Judge Joe thought the goat cheese was a nice touch to the beets, agreed with me that the sauces weren’t necessary for the scallops, and that the scallops were cooked perfectly!
Even though we were happy with the results, there are a few other things I’ll do differently. Next time (when I’m not on a time crunch), I’ll roast the beets for an hour instead of 45 minutes and I will try Gordan Ramsay’s scallop method.
I just finished a challenge and I am already excited for another. What’s next?