Lunchbreak: Bay scallops with cotija, orange and chipotle, prepared by Giant chef Ben Lustbader

Chef Ben Lustbader

Giant
3209 W. Armitage
Chicago
(773) 252-0997
www.giantrestaurant.com

Bay Scallops with Cotija, Orange, and Chipotle
Serves 2

Ingredients
4 oz bay scallops (approximately 12 bay scallops)
2 Tbs aioli or mayonnaise
1 Tbs orange vinegar syrup
1 Tbs cotija cheese
2 Tbs chipotle salsa

To sear the bay scallops:
Get a cast iron or steel pan very hot. Add just enough oil, or ideally, clarified butter to create a slick on the bottom of the pan. Wait just a moment for the oil/fat to get hot. Season the scallops lightly with salt and then place in the pan on one of the flat sides. Sear the first side for about one minute. Flip the scallops over and sear the second side for about 30 seconds. Remove from pan.

To Serve:
Place bay scallops on a plate. Squirt a little orange vinegar syrup, followed by a little aioli directly on the scallops. Sprinkle cotija cheese on top and serve with chipotle salsa.

Chipotle Salsa

Ingredients:
2 cups sunflower oil
4 each (20 grams) whole dry guajillo chili
4 each (15 grams) whole dry new mexico chili
2 each (12 grams) whole dry brown chipotle chili
6 each whole dry red chipotle chili
2 dozen (100 grams) garlic cloves
1 (250 gram) onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 each (175 grams) fresh jalapeño peppers
juice and peel of 2 limes

Directions:
Put the sunflower oil in a small pot, and heat it to about 325 degrees Remove the stems from all of the dry and fresh chilis. Fry each kind of dry chili separately, very quickly. They should puff a little. As the chilis come out of the oil, cover them in a bowl with plastic wrap. The steam will help them soften and puree more easily. Fry the garlic in the oil just until brown. When all of the frying is complete, remove the oil from the heat, and place the lime peels in the oil to infuse it. Separately, char the jalapeños and onions until black, either in a very hot dry cast iron pan or in a broiler. Remove the lime peel from the oil. When all of your ingredients are just cool enough to handle safely, puree in a blender adding the juice of two limes and a big pinch of salt. Feel free to add more lime juice or salt according to your preference.

Orange Vinegar Syrup

Ingredients:
1 pint water
1 pint sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

Directions:
Combine one pint of water with one pint of sugar and one 1/2 cup of orange juice. Reduce until syrup consistency, a little less than half, and cool.