Scallops and Baccala alla Veneziana

(Preparation for 6 guests) 

Recipe courtesy of Andrea Luca Rossi of Cichetteria 19


·    4 cups of white thin polenta
·    6 cups of water and for cup of seafood stock " could use clam use "
·    1 quarter spoon of black squid ink
·    2 tablespoons of mascarpone fleur

1) Cook on stove top about 3 minutes over a medium flame
2) Remove and add Fleur de sel and pepper to taste

Stocafisso "baccala"

For the scallops best to use Cape May Day Boat Scallops:

1) Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.
2) Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately on top of polenta.
3) Assuming there are six at table, you will need 18 ounces (a half kilo) of stoccafisso, well pounded to break down the fibers and soaked in cold water until it has softened (use a flat-faced meat pounder to avoid ruining the stoccafisso, and soak it in cool water for 3-5 days, changing the water 3 times per day). Once the stoccafisso is soaked, Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil to a preheated saucepan and sauté the Baccala till slightly golden "Salted Cod Norvigian ". Add enough milk to cover the trimmings, bring to the boil and reduce the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the fish from the milk, let it cool, and then remove the skin and the bones; flake the fish and press the flakes between a couple of dishtowels to dry them.
4) The next step is to grind the stoccafisso, an operation that will require mortar and pestle; put some of the fish in the mortar, add a few drops of olive oil, and grind the mixture with the pestle, spreading the fibers out across the sides of the mortar. The grinding will require 20 minutes per batch, and when you are done the fish will be reduced to a creamy paste.
5) Rub the inside of a round-bottomed bowl with a clove of garlic and put the paste in it; take a wooden spoon and beat the fish while adding more olive oil in a thin stream; incorporate 2/3 cup of oil, and to stop adding oil when the fish stops absorbing it. It will emulsify better if you finish beating the oil in while heating the bowl over a double boiler,warm.
6) Once you have beaten in the oil, Venetian tradition dictates that you add a tablespoon or two of finely minced parsley, though some prefer a clove of finely minced garlic instead. Don't overdo the garlic, however. At this point your Venetian masterpiece is ready; serve it with a soft polenta made from white cornmeal; if white cornmeal is not available where you live polenta made from regular cornmeal will work too.

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