Mother’s Day Eating in Brisbane… with Dominique Rizzo

From the archive: This post was published on our original site, MyCityLife back on 11 May 2014

Italian domestic goddess Dominique Rizzo has come to save the day with a wonderful recipe that wows mum – because every mum deserves a wonderful meal (at least), on Mother’s Day.

This is one of my favourite dishes. I love scallops and I love good quality puff pastry. The combination of scallops, champagne sauce, creamy cod puree and flaky pastry for me has all the flavours and textures for a perfect dish. This recipe makes a perfect entrée for dinner or a light lunch. Serve it with the rest of the champagne – so make sure you buy a good quality bottle.

SCALLOP AND POACHED COD MILLE FEUILLE WITH CHAMPAGNE SAUCE

Serves 6  

TIPS
I always use Carême Puff pastry. It’s from the Barossa and you can find it in any good delicatessens. I love it because all of their pastry lines use only all natural ingredients, and it is the closest thing – if not better – to making your own.  

Scallops are a mollusc that we don’t cook with often. They are perfect to make mums lunch or dinner a very special occasion. If you pick them up at your fish shop, buy the scallops that are local and quite large, this gives you a little more leeway when you are frying them. Frozen scallops are fine, allow them to sit in the fridge to defrost and pat them dry before cooking.

POACHED COD PUREE
1 tsp olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon white wine
150 g fillet of cod, boned and diced into 2cm chunks
½ cup thickened cream
¼  cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper 
* Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low heat and fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. 
* Add the white wine and the cod and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the cream and simmer for a further 10 minutes. 
* Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool. 
* Puree the cod mixture in a food processor, forming a smooth paste. (The paste will keep for up to 7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator). 

CHAMPAGNE SAUCE
½ cup champagne
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 sprigs of thyme
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
100g butter
1 egg
* Place the champagne, vinegar, thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes until reduced by ¾. 
* Discard the herbs and set the vinegar aside to cool. Melt the butter over a low temperature; place the egg into the bowl of a food processor or blender. With the motor running, slowly start to pour in the clarified butter leaving the white milk solids behind. 
* Keep whizzing until the sauce starts to thicken. When all the butter has finished add in 1 tablespoon of the champagne and vinegar reduction and blend again. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking. Set the sauce aside. 

PASTRY SQUARES
375g box Carême all butter puff pastry
Pre heat oven to 200c fan forced or 220c
* Unroll the pastry and cut into 6 x 8cm squares. Place the squares onto a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and score the pastry by running a knife 1cm inside each of the squares to make a smaller square but not cutting all the way through the pastry. 
* Spoon 1 ½ tablespoons of the cod mixture into the square. 
* Place the tray into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, drop the temperature to 180c and cook until golden and risen about 15 – 20 minutes 

COOKING THE SCALLOPS
12 scallops
¼ cup dill leaves
1 cup water cress leaves
¼ cup fennel leaves
¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
* Place a fry pan over a moderate to high heat, dry off the scallops and drizzle them with a little oil. Season with salt and pepper, and place into the pan.
* Depending on the size of the scallops, cook on either side for about 30 seconds or until golden but still a little opaque in the centre. Once you put the scallop in the pan leave it there and don’t try and move if until the time is up. 
* Remove them from the heat when both sides are golden, set aside.
* It is also important to not over crowd the pan as they will stew in their own liquid and over cook.


PUTTING IT TOGETHER
To assemble the dish, place a square of cooked puff pastry onto a plate, spoon in some of the cod puree, top with the combined herbs dressed with a little olive oil and then place on the scallops, pour over the sauce and serve hot.

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