Sea Scallops with Cilantro Spaetzle & Mac n' Cheese

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Georges Bank Sea Scallops with Cilantro Spaetzle, Roasted Pepper jus, and Summer Squash

By Chef Michael Rusconi

(Serves 4)

For the Spaetzle

3 cups    All Purpose flour
4    Eggs
1 bunch    Cilantro sprigs only
2 oz    Spinach Leaves
3 ounces   boiling hot Water
1/2 Cup    Whole Milk

Blend your cilantro, spinach and hot water in a blender until smooth.
Mix eggs into the flour, add milk, your cilantro puree and a touch of salt.
Scrape through a large perforated pan or colander into boiling water.
Once spaetzle has risen to surface cook for 1 minute and shock in ice water.
Lightly oil spaetzle with canola oil to prevent from sticking together.

Reheat in whole butter browning lightly. Finish with salt and pepper.

For the sauce

1 each     Roast over an open flame and peel
1 chopped    Shallot
½ cup     White Wine
¾ cup      chicken stock
To taste    Sea Salt
To Taste    Ground White Pepper


Roast the pepper over an open flame.  When skin is black place in small bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. 
Skin will be easier to peel off skin and discard seeds.
In small sauce pot, on low heat, sweat 1 chopped shallot in 1 tbs of butter until translucent, no color.
Add peeled pepper and white wine and reduce down until dry.
Add chicken stock and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until tender.
Blender until smooth and finish with a little olive oil.

Procedure for cooking Scallops

Season 4 U-10 count Sea Scallops per person with sea salt and white pepper.
Sautee them in clarified butter for about 5 minutes on very high heat in frying pan.
Brown scallops slightly until lose their translucency.

Procedure for Squash

In boiling water par cook your baby summer squash. 
When done shock to cool in ice cold water. 
In  hot sauté pan quickly sauté squash in a little olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper.

The Plate up

Place a small pile of spaetzle in middle of  large dinner plate.
Drizzle sauce randomly around  spaetzle.
Place 5 scallops around spaetzle and serve immediately.

Truffled Scented Macaroni and Cheese

Yields Six, Four Ounce Portions

The key to this dish is to invest in highest quality cheese, fresh macaroni, and truffle oil.  The other ingredients for the dish are one small shallot, dry white wine, heavy cream, butter, and basic oil and seasoning.

Pasta:  We use fresh egg pasta called ‘Cornetti’, it is large elbow macaroni.  Use dried if fresh is unavialable.
 1 Lb pasta of your choice   
 1 Gallon boiling water   Cook pasta al dente

Cream Base:  Low heat is the key to this sauce, be very attentive when heating the cream as it can expand rapidly and make a mess!
 We use San Joaquin gold cheese but if it is not available, your local cheese specialist can recommend something comparable.
½ Tablespoon butter    melt in 8 cup size saucepan
1 small shallot, finely chopped   cook 5 minutes over low heat
 ½ cup white wine, dry   add to pan, cook until absorbed
 1 ½  cup heavy cream   add to pan, bring to simmer
 1 cup shredded San Joaquin gold  add, turn off heat, stir until melted 
   1 ounce white truffle oil

To Finish. Set sauce aside off the heat, add the pasta in parts until the mixture has the amount of sauce coating you prefer. 
Finish the pasta with about 1 ounce of truffle oil, and some more grated San Joaquin gold cheese, fresh ground white pepper and salt to your taste. 
Serve immediately.