This is one my favorite seafood dishes to make and eat! It is a recipe that I have made repeatedly and perfected with time. It never fails me nor fails to delight any of my dining guests coming out of my personal kitchen. The dish contains a mixture of fresh scallops and shrimp baked into a round ramekin mold and served with the most perfectly seasoned and intense sauce that tops the delicate seafood flan custard complimenting this divine seafood dish. I have tried it many ways but this is my best! It is a family favorite and they think it is so hard to make, but it is fairly easy to make and serve! What's not to love!
Scallop & Shrimp Flan with Red Seafood Sauce
- 12 ounces sea scallops, patted dry with paper towels
- 1-1/2 pounds wild shrimp (large sized 15-20 count), leave the tails on 18 reserved for plating
- 2 large eggs
- 12 fluid ounces heavy cream, divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh shallots, chopped fine
- 15 dried fennel seeds
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup moscato wine
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground chile powder
- 12 fresh chives, about 6 inches in length
Step 1 - To Make the Flans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean scallops by removing any remaining side muscle, sand grit or debris that you may find while you are washing the scallops under cold water. Dry them thoroughly by patting them in between clean paper towels. Place them in a food processor. Take 18 shrimp from the total count and peel them up to their the tail section, leaving the tail intact and remove the veins. Place them aside on a small plate and cover them with a paper towel to avoid them drying out before using them later in this recipe. Remove tails, shells and veins from the remainder of the shrimp and place these shrimp in the food processor with the scallops. RESERVE ALL THE SHELL PIECES, DO NOT THROW ANY AWAY. Add 1 egg to the food processor along with 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt and the white pepper and pulse until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute; some small chunks may still be in the mixture and that is OK. Place the pureed mixture in a small bowl and add the remaining egg, lightly whisked along with 1/2 (6-ounces) of the heavy cream to the bowl and whip by hand with a wire whisk until well blended. Take 2 tablespoons of the butter and grease the insides of 6 (4-ounce) ramekins cups up their sides and cover of the inside bottoms. Fill the cups with an equal portion of the seafood mixture. Place the cups in a casserole pan and add enough hot tap water to dish to go up half way the wall of the outside of the filled cups. Cover with a sheet of foil that has several holes to allow for venting of steam and place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Do not over cook. The flan should appear set. Remove from the oven and lift out the baked flans. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Step 2 - To Make the Red Seafood Sauce
While the flans bake prepare the sauce: In a large heavy bottomed skillet, add the olive oil and the 1/2 of the remainder of the butter and melt over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add in the shrimp shells and cook for 5 minutes until shells feel crispy. Remove the shell pieces with a slotted spoon and toss away. Add the shallots and fennel seeds and saute until shallots are softened about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add in the wine and deglaze any tidbits from the pan by stirring and scraping the saute loose. Add the tomato paste, cherry tomatoes, basil, the remaining sea salt and black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Take the mixture and strain in a wire mesh strainer over a bowl pressing out as much of the liquids as possible. Return the liquids to the same sauce pan and pour in the remaining 6 ounces of heavy cream and stir well. Add in the chile powder and stir well. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste buds. Add the reserved 18 shrimps and cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir and spoon the sauce to cover the shrimp well. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to plate and serve.
Step 3 - To Plate, Garnish and Serve
Take each baked flan and run a small bladed knife around the inside edge of each ramekin to loosen the flan and then invert each ramekin onto the center of a serving plate lifting the ramekin off the flan. Take a small spoon and cover the top of each flan with an equal portion of the red sauce, allow it to run down the sides but not completely cover. If there is more sauce then needed, simply pour it in a bowl/boat and offer it as extra to your eaters. Place 3 (three) of the cooked 18 shrimp on the outer sides of the sauced flan. Cut the top of each chive into 3 to 4 inch length and lay two lengths atop each sauced flan and cut the remainder of the chive into small slices and sprinkle lightly over each portion. Serve warm!