Here is the perfect marriage between sea and vegges. A doable entree that you would find in rated bistros and restaurants. The Pernod sauce bring this dish to the next level. Skip sauce if you want to cut calories. Ratatouille is a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. A combination of summer vegetables such as tomato, zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, as well as onions, garlic, basil and thyme. Depending on the purpose of the dish, vegetables are cut into chunks to small dice, and even brunoise for nice looking amuse bouche for instance. *Since fennel pairs well with seafood, it would be a great addition to this ratatouille.
Wash off all veggies first. Cut off ends and stems. Remove seeds and white membranes for the bell peppers. Cut eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, and tomatoes into medium dice 0.5''/13mm. Reserve in separate containers. Chop onions, and fennel; set aside together. Mince garlic, and aside. Heat up 2 large frying pans. Drizzle some olive oil in each pan and sauté onions with fennel in one pan on medium high heat. Do likewise in the other pan with the eggplants, season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add garlic. Continue to cook until fragrant, stirring every so often. Combine sautéd eggplants with the onion-fennel mixture. Reused the frying pan, and sauté bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squashes together for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, basil and thyme to the eggplant-onion mixture. Then gather the whole thing in one pan, and cook ratatouille on low heat for an hour or more. Ratatouille is always best confit. Readjust seasoning. Ratatouille can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Ratatouille can be served cool, warm, or hot.
Pernod sauce for scallops can be a beurre blanc (Sauce based on butter), or heavy cream based sauce. For the beurre blanc, reduce to dry wine along with shallots, and herb bouquet. Add heavy cream and reduce by two third. Add butter gradually, and whisk swiftly on low heat. The sauce must not boil to avoid separation. Add a pinch of turmeric for the color, and season with salt. Add a dash of Pernod, and sieve; keep warm. For the heavy cream sauce, follow the same protocol. Though, substitute butter for heavy cream (300g). Reduce mixture to sirupy consistency, and sieve. Finish the sauce by throwing in a couple chunks of butter. Mix and season with salt and Pernod.
Cook potatoes in salted water for about 25 minutes, or stream. Let cool for 10 minutes and peel off skin and remove eyes. When ready to serve, cut potatoes into wedges, and heat them up in a saucepan with butter and chopped parsley, or persillade (Persillade is a mixture of chopped parsley, minces garlic or shallots or both). Persillade can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for a few days or frozen.
Clean scallops by immersing them in ice water for about 10 minutes. Transfer onto paper towels – pat dry well. Remove the little nerve from each scallop unless they have already been taken out (Most fresh scallops sold in rated seafood stores are more likely ready to cook). Heat up frying pan – it should be hot. Lower heat to medium-high. Add a drizzle of neutral oil, and sprinkle some salt on the bottom pan. Arrange scallops not too close to each other. After about a 2 minutes, add butter. When scallops got a nice caramelization (Maillard reaction). Flip and continue to cook more about 3 minutes more. At this juncture, scallops can be flambéed with Pernod while still in pan. Or flambé alcohol separately and pour over plated scallops. Allow scallops to render excess moisture over paper towels for 30 sec before serving.
Bistro style presentation: Heat up ratatouille in a cast iron dish straight over the stove or oven. When ready to serve, add herbed potatoes wedges and scallops – flambé and pour the sauce. Bon appétit!
Heat up plates. Begin to sear scallops. Meanwhile, dress up hot ratatouille using a 2.25''/5.5cm diameter cookie cutter. Add herbed potatoes – Keep the dish warm. Arrange cooked scallops between ratatouille rounds. Flambé scallops with some Pernod, and add sauce. Garnish with some blanched English peas if desired, and fresh herbs. Bon appétit!