I am constantly scheming, testing, and revising recipes. Some fail, many succeed, and then there are a few that surpass the realm of delicious and tiptoe over the edge of brilliance.
I will not claim that every recipe published here is brilliant. While I truly enjoy and believe in every recipe I choose to share with you, not every thing can be dubbed "life-changing."
However, this soup is one of those rare concoctions that I have honored with the title of "divine." Friends and family beg for it to be repeated and, at long last, I am sharing this most-hallowed recipe so that they can learn to make it themselves.
First, let me state that this soup was assembled on a whim.
I was planning to cook a six-course meal for a party of seventeen when I decided that one of the items on my menu required no advance testing. I knew what I wanted to make, and how I wanted it to taste, and I was reasonably sure that I could materialize my fantasies.
I certainly do not recommend testing a recipe one hour before it is supposed to be served, but in the end it was the roaring favorite of the night.
It is no secret that scallops are my favorite savory food in all the world. My last meal menu would be a very uncomplimentary combination of scallops and cheesecake. I just adore scallops.
Combining them with shrimp, leeks, and an abundance of butter is the beginning of our soup, but I am sure that you can already understand why it is so splendid.
I like to pile the shrimp and scallops into a tight terrine, using a biscuit cutter as a mold.
While it is an extra step, the effect is totally worth it.
I love making this meal for company because it is so elegant and everyone loves the drama of covering the tiny terrines with their personal carafe of scarlet tomato broth.
The tomato broth is a simmered medley of diced tomatoes, white wine, chicken broth, and, you guessed it, butter.
It is strained through a fine mesh strainer to produce a consommé-like clarity.
Isn't that a sight to relish? I love bringing a bit of panache to my table.
The richness of this dish lends itself well to simple sides. I love serving this soup with crostini rubbed with garlic or sun-dried tomato butter, and a simple green salad.
Dinner is served.
SCALLOP & SHRIMP TERRINE WITH TOMATO BROTH
SERVING SUGGESTION: HOST A SURE-TO-IMPRESS DINNER PARTY BY PAIRING THIS DISH WITH A SIMPLE GREEN SALAD AND CROSTINI SMEARED WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATO BUTTER!
FOR THE TOMATO BROTH
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2, 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups dry, white wine, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
Heat olive oil in the bottom of a 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Add garlic and toast until just golden and fragrant. Stir in diced tomatoes, chicken broth, 1 cup white wine, and kosher salt.
Increase heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.
While the broth simmers, prepare the seafood.
Uncover and stir the tomato mixture; remove from heat.
Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the tomato mixture through the strainer, using a heavy, metal spoon to press the tomatoes until you have captured all of their juices.
Discard the pressed tomatoes and pour the strained broth back into the saucepan. Return to medium heat and stir in butter and remaining white wine. Bring to a slow simmer, then remove from heat.
FOR THE TERRINE
- 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lb sea scallops
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium leek, cut lengthwise and finely sliced*
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- juice of one lemon half
*Cook's Note: Some grocery stores will sell leeks that are pre-trimmed, but if you buy the whole leeks be sure to remove most of the dark green section by cutting about 1/2-inch above the firm, pale green flesh.
Prepare seafood by chopping shrimp and scallops into 1/4-inch cubes. Set aside.
In a large, nonstick saute pan, melt butter over medium heat - do not brown! Add leeks and kosher salt and cook, stirring often, until the leeks are soft; 3-5 minutes.
Add seafood and cook until the shrimp are pink and the scallops are no longer translucent; roughly 4-5 minutes. There should be no browning whatsoever. If the mixture begins to brown at all, reduce heat.
Remove from heat and squeeze lemon juice over the seafood, stirring to coat.
Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter as a mold, set the cutter in the bottom of each bowl and fill with the seafood mixture. Use the bottom of a spoon to pat down the mixture, then gently remove the cutter. Cover the terrine with the tomato broth table-side and serve immediately. Enjoy!