Crispy risotto squares with cider, Le 1608, seared scallops and leeks, and dried tomato pesto and caper sauce
- 2 tbsp. (30 ml) butter
- 60 ml (¼ cup) onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 250 ml (1 cup) risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
- Salt and pepper
- 125 ml (½ cup) Dégel still cider
- 300 ml (1¼ cup) poultry stock
- 300 g (10 oz) grated Le 1608 cheese
- 8 large scallops, approx. 240 g (8 oz)
- 2 medium-size leeks, approx. 210 g (7 oz)
- 15 ml (2 tbsp.) tomato pesto
- 5 ml (1 tsp.) capers
- 45 ml (3 tbsp.) olive oil
- 15 ml (1 tbsp.) red wine vinegar
- A splash of water
- Salt and pepper
- 125 ml (½ cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 400 g (2 cups) breadcrumbs
Risotto (step 1)
Without browning them, cook the chopped onions and garlic in butter. Add the rice and stir well, making sure that the rice grains are fully coated by the butter mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cider and cook for 1 minute before adding half of the poultry stock. Wait until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and add the stock one ladle at a time until the rice is cooked al dente (15 to 18 minutes). Remove from heat and add Le 1608 cheese. Stir until the cheese has been mixed in and is completely melted.
Lay plastic wrap at the bottom of a 22 cm x 22 cm (9 in. x 9 in.) baking dish. Spoon the risotto into the dish, flatten, and put another piece of plastic wrap on top. Press firmly. Chill in the refrigerator.
Blend all the ingredients using a hand blender. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash of water. The mixture should be runny, but not too liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Risotto (step 2)
Once the risotto is chilled, place it on a cutting board. Using a wet knife, cut it into four equally-sized squares.
Bread the risotto by dusting it with flour and dipping it in beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Dip the squares in the egg and breadcrumbs again. Set aside.
Slice 4 cm (1½ in.) sections from the white part of the leek. Brown the leeks by frying them standing up in olive oil. Season. Bake at 180 °C (350 °F) for 15 minutes. Set aside and keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
Brown the squares of risotto in a small amount of olive oil for 2 minutes per side.
Season the scallops and sear them in a very hot skillet with a splash of olive oil on one side only. Remove and place the scallops on a baking sheet, seared side up. Set aside.
When you’re ready to serve, bake them for 5 minutes at 180 °C (350 °F).
Place a risotto square at the centre of each plate. Add two scallops and two leek slices, crossing them together. Add about 30 ml (2 tbsp.) of sauce in a circle around the squares. Garnish with a basil leaf and serve.