Reycraft garnished his scallops with sautéed mushrooms, chive-infused oil and micro-greens. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
Reycraft teaches the group his secret to the perfect crunchy-topped crème brulee. (Sprinkle with a layer of turbanado sugar; apply blowtorch. Repeat.) Credits: Jackie Lieberman
Reycraft revealed that he uses Savory Spice Shop’s Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to season his dishes at Chez Catherine. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
Chez Catherine Chef CJ Reycraft Shares His Secrets at Savory Spice Shop
Monday, March 19, 2012 • 5:46am
WESTFIELD, NJ—The atmosphere was celebratory at Savory Spice Shop this week when Chez Catherine’s Chef de Cuisine, CJ Reycraft, taught a group of about 30 how he makes some of his favorite springtime dishes. Participants sipped wine they’d brought with them and tasted Reycraft’s famous steak tartare (flavored with a generous dash of the shop’s Red Habanero Sauce), seared sea scallops with mushrooms and and hibiscus-infused crème brulee.
After tasting a scallop, Maria Reilly of Cranford said she liked it so much she might ask her husband to make the recipe for her. “It’s very simple—not too many ingredients,” she said. “This would be a really quick thing to do.”
Reycraft’s crème brulee was inspired by a trip to Savory Spice Shop. “I come here on days off to dig through and experiment,” he said, which is how he discovered their dried hibiscus flowers. He infuses the cream for the custard with hibiscus by simmering them together, then refrigerating the mixture overnight. “You can also use lavender. There’s a million things you can use,” Reycraft revealed.
On March 21 at 7 pm, Savory Spice Shop will host a gluten-free baking and cooking class with Fallon’s Bake Shop. On April 11 at 7 pm Andrea Krest will lead customers on a culinary journey to Morocco. To register, call 908-264 8947 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $15 per person per class.
Sea Scallops Grenobloise
For the Scallops
12 Large Sea Scallops
3 tbsp olive oil
For the sauce
1 qt stock, vegetable or chicken
1 cup white wine or champagne, optional
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 small shallot, finely diced
1/2qt of cream
salt, pepper, blade mace, star anise (a pinch of each)
To make the sauce:
Sweat the shallot, mushrooms in a 3-qt stock pot or sauce pan over low heat. Deglaze with the wine (optional) add the stock, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
In a 5-qt stock pot or sauce pan, melt the butter, Once it has completely melted, whisk in the flour to make a roux. Turn off the heat. Add your boiling hot stock a little at a time to the roux. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Add the spices.
Add the cream. Continue to cook until the sauce gets to a consistency think enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Strain and chill in an ice bath if you are not going to use the sauce on the same day, otherwise keep on the back of the stove.
For the scallops:
Take the scallops and remove the muscle. Rinse under cold water to remove any grit or sand. Rinse a second time to make sure all the sand is removed. Dry the scallops with a paper towel.
In a non-stick pan heat your oil or clarified butter. Season your scallops with a little salt and pepper. When the fat in the pan begins to smoke, sear the scallop on one side. Cook 2 to 4 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown.
Flip the scallops over, then quickly transfer to a serving plate. To keep warm, cover with foil and place in oven at 200 degrees.
The Big Finish:
Remove your fish from the oven and pour the sauce over the top.
Serve with potatoes or rice, sautéed mushrooms, spinach and (for best results) a glass of crisp white wine. Sauvignon Blanc pairs very well.