Kris: Nothing like a weekend away in the big city. I can’t go to Melbourne without visiting the Queen Victoria Markets. An amazing selection of fresh produce, cured meats, cheese, beer, wine and seafood. I thought it would be a great idea to cook dinner using Victorian produce, matched with some Victorian craft beer.
The entree I decided to create was Pan fried scallops, minted peas and beer blanc (Beurre Blanc is a classic french butter sauce, made with a reduction of white wine and vinegar. I decided to do my own version using a reduction of Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene, a classic Belgian Gueuze. It is a funky, sour blend of 1,2 and 3 year old barrel aged lambic)
Caroline: One of my favorite things about Melbourne is the Queen Victoria Markets! SO much fresh produce, so many spices, so much cheese, wine, seafood, and meats! If I died and went to heaven, I think it would be Queen Vic. Luckily We stayed with a friend who lived right by the markets and scored a ton of great snacks…
Scallops, Minted Peas and Beer Blanc
10 finely sliced mint leaves
180ml Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene Gueuze
2 peeled eschalots
5-6 pepper corns
180g chilled butter
salt and pepper
Kris: This sauce can be a little intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. The key is to make sure the butter is really chilled and you add it in small amounts so that it emulsifies and doesn’t split.
Place the beer in a saucepan over a medium heat and reduce by half
Add the eschalots and pepper corns
After a few minutes, slowly add small cubes of the chilled butter and whisk
After all the butter has been added, simmer until the sauce thickens
Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste
Steam the peas for 5 minutes until tender
Add the peas and mint to a mortar and pestle
Add some olive oil and mash
Season with salt and pepper
Heat a frying pan to smoking point
Add a small amount of olive oil and sear the scallops for a couple of minutes each side
Take off the heat and season with salt and pepper
Place the minted peas on the plate
Place the scallops on top of the peas
Spoon over the Beer Blanc
Caroline: The scallops were so soft and tender, perfectly cooked, and the mint added so much freshness and lightness to the mashed peas! and Beurre blanc (beer-blanc) how can you go wrong?? Such a delicious dish, rich and still light and summery.
Kris: I have been thinking about making the Beer Blanc for quite a while now. It was a great success. The dish was also a great match with the Mountain Goat Steam Ale. It is a great interpretation of the Californian Common, an ale brewed at a low temperature. It is clean and crisp with a nice touch of citrus hop flavour and aroma.
Caroline: Matching our Melbournian dinner with a Melbournian beer seemed only natural, and Mountain Goat is one of our favorites! If only we had been in town on a Wednesday or Friday to go down to the brewery for brewskies and pizza! We drank the Steam Ale with our seafood dish. The Steam Ale is not only certified organic, but is also really delicious! Clean, crisp and refeshing; a perfect match for seafood.