So The Saturday Early Show invited him to participate in the Chef on a Shoestring challenge and he accepted. With $40, he offered the following menu for four: Roasted Scallops with Kirby Cucumber in a Corn Sauce, Roasted Pork Loin with Summer Vegetables, and Roasted Peaches with Cherries, Lychee and Crème Fraiche.
The following are his recipes:
Roasted Scallop with Kirby Cucumber and Corn Sauce
8 small diver scallops
6 ears of fresh yellow corn
1/2 Kirby cucumber
1 sprig of fresh tarragon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of fresh garlic
2 Tbl minced onion
2 qt. water
2 Tbl canola oil
1. Peel the husks off the corn. Cut the kernels off of the corncobs (not too deep, about half of the kernel should come off). Reserve the corn in a bowl.
2. In a small saucepot add the corncobs and the water. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, and reduce by 1/3. When the liquid is reduced, strain and reserve.
3. Crush the garlic. In a medium sized sauté pan, heat the canola oil and add the onions. Cook until they look clear, not white, and add the garlic. Do not brown. Cook for about 1 more minute and add the corn kernels and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 more minutes and add the corn stock. Cook until the corn is tender and transfer to a blender.
4. Puree in the blender, adding most of the olive oil and check the seasoning. Strain again and hold warm (this can be made a day ahead of time in which case you should cool immediately).
5. Cut the cucumber into small pieces, about the size of corn kernels. Finely chop 5 leaves of tarragon. Season the cucumber with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, 1 drop of balsamic vinegar, and add the tarragon. This should be done right before you are going to cook the scallops.
6. At the last minute, right before serving, prepare and cook the scallops. Score the top of the scallops (make 3 cuts left-right, and 3 cuts up-down, cutting half-way through the scallop). Push the scallop open and season with salt, pepper and flour (preferably Wondra Flour if you have it).
7. In a pre-heated large sauté pan add canola oil. When it is hot, place the scored side of the scallop down so it opens up like a flower. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Control the heat by either adjusting the flame or moving the pan off to the side of the burner. You want to hear a nice crispy sizzle. When they are an even golden brown (about a minute or minute-and-a-half), flip them and continue to sauté for about 20 more seconds.
8. While the scallops are finishing, in medium-size bowls place a teaspoon of marinated cucumber in the center, and pour about 2 oz. (1/4 cup) of the corn sauce around the cucumber. Place the scallops, straight from the pan, on top of the cucumber. Finish with a slight drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar.
Roast Pork Loin with Yellow Split Peas And Summer Vegetables
2 Lbs fresh boneless pork roast
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
1 sprig of fresh tarragon
1 sprig of fresh sage
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 sweet onion (Maui or Vidalia)
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup yellow split peas
8 shitake mushrooms
3 small carrots (or one large carrot)
1/2 cup green beans
2 tbl smoked bacon
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups stock
1 small piece of celery
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the salt with the sugar and coat the pork loin evenly. Allow to cure in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Wash off the sugar and salt and pat dry.
- Chop the herbs with 2 of the cloves of garlic. Add the paprika and rub the pork loin with it (this process may be done the day or night before to save time).
- Heat a large sauté pan and coat the bottom with canola oil. Brown the pork on all sides. Transfer to a roasting pan and put in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees. Turn approximately 4 times through the cooking duration. Using a thermometer, remove when the internal temperature is 150 degrees (should take about 70 - 90 minutes). Let rest for about 15 minutes.
- While the meat is cooking, in a small saucepot combine the yellow split peas with 2 cups of stock (or water), salt & pepper, celery, remaining garlic, 1 carrot, 1/2 of the onion and the smoked bacon (leave the vegetables in big pieces so they may be removed later). Cook until the peas are tender.
- Remove the vegetables and bacon. Chop up the bacon and add it back to the peas. Discard vegetables.
- Dice the remaining carrots, about the size of the split peas. Slice the green beans the same size. Trim the mushrooms and cut them the same size as well.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the carrots until tender. Immediately shock the carrots in ice water. Repeat with the green beans. Reserve all of the vegetables.
- Mince the rest of the onion. Chop the parsley very fine.
- When the meat is rested, heat a small saucepot with canola oil and lightly cook the onion, until it has no color. Add the shitake mushrooms and cook for 1 minute more. Add the yellow split peas (use a slotted spoon; there will still be liquid in the pot) and the remaining cooked vegetables. Add liquid from the split peas to the mixture until you have a stew-like consistency. Season with salt, pepper, chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil.
- Slice the roast into 8 even slices. Place the vegetable in the middle of a dinner plate and place 2 slices on top of the vegetables. Spoon a little of the pan juices over the meat.
Roasted White Peach with Cherry, Lychee and Crème Fraiche
2 white peaches
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbl. butter (unsalted)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
20 blanched almonds
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1/2 cup amaretto
1 sprig of fresh mint
1/2 cup lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split the peaches in half and coat with sugar. On a small baking tray lined with foil, place the peaches cut side down with a little piece of butter on top of each peach half.
- Roast in a 350-degree oven for 12 minutes on each side; remove and let cool. Save all of the liquid.
- While the peaches are cooking, toast the almonds evenly and chop fine with a pinch of sugar.
- Peel the Lychee and remove the pit. Split the cherries in half and remove the pits from them as well. Slice the mint leaves thin. At the last minute toss the fruit and mint with 1 drop of lemon juice.
- Whip the crème fraiche with the amaretto and a pinch of sugar.
- Peel skin from peaches. Cut each peach half into 3 pieces. In a small bowl lay the peaches on the bottom, top with the cherry-lychee salad, a small scoop of crème fraiche, a little of the cooking liquid. Finally, sprinkle the almonds over top.