8 large fresh scallops (previously frozen are more common, but finding fresh, untreated scallops will be worth it!)
8-10 slices of any nice, dry sausage (we used csabai, but chorizo would be equally good)
¼ cup jamaica flowers (hibiscus flowers, available at most latin markets)
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
juice and zest of 1 orange (remove large strips of zest with a vegetable peeler)
juice of 3 limes
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ head purple cauliflower
2 shallots, finely diced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 habanero, seeds and ribs removed, diced very finely
3 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, sliced
1 head of fennel, sliced, tender green fronds set aside
8-10 new potatoes cut into thick discs
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
salt and pepper
Clean scallops by removing the small nerve found on the side. Place on plate lined with paper towel in the fridge.
To start the gastrique, bring 1 cup water, jamaica flowers, 2 tbsp of the sugar, and strips of orange zest to a boil then simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid and 2 strips of orange zest and 1-2 jamaica flowers. In a small pan over medium high heat melt remaining sugar and bring to a golden caramel color, deglaze with vinegar, jamaica infusion, and orange and lime juice. Cook mixture over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until mixture has reached a caramel consistency. To check consistency dip a wooden spoon into the mixture and run your finger down the middle, if a trace remains it is ready. Cool and set aside.
For the vierge, blanche cauliflower in boiling, salted water with ¼ cup of vinegar for 1 minute and then refresh in ice water. Cut cauliflower into tiny flowerets and set aside. Cook shallots, vinegar and honey over medium high heat until all liquid has evaporated, season with salt and cool. In a medium bowl combine flowerets with shallots, cherry tomatoes, habanero, parsley, olive oil, fennel fronds, and the reserved zest and jamaica flowers from the gastrique finely diced. Mix well and season to taste. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days in fridge before serving.
For the vegetables, coat potatoes and garlic cloves with olive oil and salt and roast in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and golden. Meanwhile over very high heat, sautee fennel and onions in olive oil until tender and well caramelized. Once everything is cooked, combine and season. Set aside garlic clovces.
To finish, heat a large pan to smoking point. Add canola oil to pan, season scallops and sear in pan for about 4 minutes, or until a nice crust has formed. Add sausage to pan also and turn scallops. Turn down heat to medium, add butter and baste scallops until nicely cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and rest scallops 1 minute longer. Serve scallops and sausage over a small mound of potatoes and fennel. Top with cauliflower vierge and drizzle a small amount of gastrique on each plate. Enjoy!