So today I was feeling more ambitious than normal so I came up with a nice 2 course meal.
Start off by taking first few outer leaves off. cut b/t a quarter to a half inch off the end and on the other side trim the stem. I cut up a lemon into slices and put them in my deep skillet (you can use roasting pans as it does go in the oven…my pots/pans are good up to 400 in oven). Over the lemon I grinded some sea salt and some rosemary. To the artichoke. I then coated all sides with olive oil and placed each half “cut” side down on the lemon slices. I then places in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees until tender.
As an aside (optional) with my culinary whipper I had made a garlic-truffle oil infused foam and topped with some rosemary. Complimented the artichoke rather nicely.
Now on to the main dish. Started off by taking the sea scallops and soaking them in salt water for about 10 minutes, then washed and let sit air dry. I did a pan sear with them in a “clarified” butter which is where you melt plain old butter and you scoop off the top foam and just use the yellow middle part (will also have solids sink the bottom). This type of butter works much better as its higher smoke point allows for a nice caramelization process to occur with the scallops.
Each side of the scallop is cooked in a pan for 3-5 minutes until a nice brown occurs. For the scallops I had made a blood orange demi-glace which i took a blood orange and cut into small pieces, threw in some red wine, some sugar, salt, and brought to a simmer. As it sat the orange got softer and I “squeezed” the pieces to fully release the juice. I then took this and poured it through a mesh strainer to just collect the liquid which was later on reduced down to more of a thickened sauce.
The “flowers” as I like to call them as that was the form I was going for complimented very nicely as they were cold, earthy vegetables that gave a sort of relief from the rich scallops. For them I used a few gastronomy techniques being cold oil spherification (made balsamic and white-wine caviar) and for the main flower part I used agar-agar to make a spiced-beet sheet which I then cut out circles. The base of the flowers were radishes and I used carrots for the petals. Besides being a nice earthy side-dish I felt they went well with it being the Spring season (though a very warm spring day of 90 degrees).