The Food: Pea Sauce

Ingredients
1 Cup Cold Water
1/2 Cup dried morel mushrooms
8 Large sea scallops (or about 4 per person)
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons of virgin olive oil
2 Slices of Prosciutto ham, chopped
1/2 Cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Shot glass of Brandy
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Pea Sauce:
1 10-oz. package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Rigatoni pasta accomodate peas very nicely, (as do rice).  But this can be made 2 ways, mine, of course, is the more rustic way.

Get a fry pan or skillet and heat some extra virgin olive oil. 

Peas in saucepan add whipping cream & chicken stock salt & Pepper,bring to boil, simmer for 15-20 mins till reduced

chop morel mushrooms, put in hot water  or chicken stock to marinate and "reconstitute"

allow scallops in hot pan of olive oil, 2 mins on each side at the most, turn over, salt them, in the same pan you will add the other ingredients.

Add in garlic, diced chopped onions, morel mushrooms.  Add in prosciutto, chopped, add in brandy, flame it, let it die down, add in the stock that was marinating the mushrooms.  Bring to a boil, let the sauce reduce (about 15 minutes). finish with a tablespoon of butter, stir until melted and mixed into the sauce.

Put the pea sauce on the bottom of a dish, arrange the scallops on top,  you spoon the mushroom sauce over the top, garnish with chopped parsley.  

Heat the stock and pour over the mushrooms. Let soak for at least 30 minutes to reconstitute. Drain the mushrooms; reserve the stock. Cut the morsels in quarters.

Make the Pea Sauce (recipe follows), and while it is cooking, pat the scallops dry and toss with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat until sizzling. Sear half of the scallops until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and repeat for the rest.

In the same pan, with heat reduced to medium, sauté the morels, prosciutto, and onion in the remaining olive oil. Cook until the onion softens and starts to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Carefully add the brandy to deglaze the pan; stir gently to dislodge any browned bits at the bottom of the pan, and cook to reduce the liquid by half. Add the reserved stock and the remaining ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer to reduce by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan and reheat in the mushroom mixture until just warmed through. Melt in the butter, if desired, for a flavorful glisten.

To serve, spoon the Pea Sauce onto a serving dish and spoon the scallop mixture into the center. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.

In a medium saucepan, cook the peas, stock, and cream until the peas are tender, but still bright green, about 4 to 5 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor. Return to the pan and season with the salt and pepper. Simmer until just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 6 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.  



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