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So. Frickin. Good.

This dish was intended to be a showstopper. Picture it: Miami, 2011. A group of 40 seasoned foodies gathered on a sweltering late July Saturday in a Midtown penthouse with sweeping views for a potluck promising gastronomic delights. A XX-something year-old me with my Darling Dedicated Husband sous, bustling around to make sure our dish turns out right.

I’m happy to say that my two weeks of freaking out trying to make sure our dish not only fit the ‘avant garde’ theme of the potluck, but was damn tasty, paid off. The dish was a smash success and avant garde enough to wow. Go, me. I even managed to make 40 servings that were just the right size — a little cup full — so no one was completely stuffed after eating it. More on the potluck.

This recipe is not a quick cook by a long shot and the broth makes a big batch. Freeze the leftovers in quart freezer bags to pull out and thaw as necessary. Although it takes a long time to cook, this broth is totally worth it. Definitely the best broth I have ever made by far.

So nice, I just had to take another shot of that scallop

Ramen with Kickass Broth, Fresh Bacon and Mousseline “Scallop”

Don’t be afraid of the long ingredient list. This dish, while not quick, is well worth the extra effort. Makes a great showstopper for company, and the extras can be dressed up in a million different ways.

1.5 lbs. scallops
1.5 lbs. crab (I used 8 ounces claw meat and 16 ounces lump meat)
3 large egg whites
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
5 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. white pepper
Juice of half a lemon
2 oz. Wakame seaweed
1 1/4 gallons water (16 cups)
1 1/2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, ground into as fine a powder as you can get them
5 pounds chicken wings and necks
1/2 pound chicken wings
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
1 cup usukuchi (light) soy
1/3 pound double-smoked bacon
Ramen noodles

Enough house bacon to make a nice garnish, sliced into small batons and fried
Finely diced chives (optional, for garnish)
Finely diced red jalapeños (optional, for garnish)

Mousseline “Scallop”

Mousseline “Scallops”

This recipe is adapted from Michael Ruhlman’s Maryland Crab, Scallop and Saffron Terrine from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing

1.5 lbs. scallops
1.5 lbs. crab (I used 8 ounces claw meat and 16 ounces lump meat)
3 large egg whites
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
5 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. white pepper
Juice of half a lemon

About half an hour before you want to start making your mousseline, put the bowl of a large food processor, the blades, and another large bowl in the freezer.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.

In the food processor (out of the freezer), puree the scallops and egg whites until smooth. With the motor running, add the cream, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Blend to combine.

Dump the crab into your chilled bowl, picking through the meat to ensure there are no shells.

Fold your mixture into the crab and set in the fridge to chill while you prepare the terrine.

To make a quick & dirty terrine, take two small disposable aluminum meatloaf pans and line them with enough plastic wrap to completely cover the bottom and sides and fold over the top. Wetting the
pans slightly before placing the plastic wrap will help the plastic wrap stick in the corners.

Gently fill your terrines – this recipe makes enough to just about fill two of the meatloaf pans, or one large bread pan. Fold the ends of the plastic wrap up on the top and cover with tinfoil.

Place in a large roasting pan, and add hot water halfway up the sides of the terrines to make a water bath.

Bake until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 140 degrees F.

While your mousseline is baking, prepare the terrine “lids”. Cut cardboard (I used the container from a 12 pack of pop) so it fits as snugly as you can get it in the meatloaf pans. Make sure the edges of the “lid” aren’t getting hung up on the inner lip of the terrine. Cover with tinfoil and set aside.

When your mousseline has reached 140 degrees, pull from the oven and remove from the water bath. Cool and add your terrine “lids”. Weight both (I used 2 15-ounce cans of beans for each terrine) and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

To make the “scallops”, unmold each terrine and cut into 8 equal pieces widthwise. Use either a very small round cookie cutter or a film canister with the end snipped off (I’ll give you one guess as to which method I used) to carefully punch out your scallops. This quantity makes 40-something small scallops, with enough scraps leftover to completely fill a quart freezer bag.

Kickass Broth
Adapted from David Chang’s Ramen Broth 2.0 from Lucky Peach Volume 1

2 oz. Wakame seaweed
1 1/4 gallons water (16 cups)
1 1/2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, ground into as fine a powder as you can get them
5 pounds chicken wings and necks

Kickass Broth Seasoning
Adapted from David Chang’s Tare 2.0 from Lucky Peach Volume 1

1/2 pound chicken wings
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
1 cup usukuchi (light) soy
1/3 pound double-smoked bacon
Make The Broth

Heat the water in your largest stock pot to 150 degrees F. Add the seaweed, turn off the heat, and let steep 1 hour.

Fish out the seaweed and discard. Add the chicken and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes and scrape off any chicken scum that has risen to the top. Add the mushrooms and kick the heat down until the pot is very gently simmering. You’re looking for an occasional lazy bubble to rise to the top. Simmer gently for 5 hours, checking every once in awhile to make sure you’re neither too cold or too hot.

Strain and chill. For a more refined stock, strain, chill and remove the fat that solidifies on the top.

Make The Seasoning

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Place the chicken wings in an oven-safe pot or steep-sided pan that is large enough to hold them without overlapping. Roast 5 minutes just to get the fat to start rendering out.

Crank the heat to 400 degrees. Cook, flipping occasionally, until the chicken is deeply mahogany–you’re not going for burnt, but the more color on the chicken = the better the resulting taste. This process took me around 40 minutes.

Remove the chicken and deglaze with the sake, scraping the browned bits of lovely goodness off the bottom of the pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat, and add the remaining ingredients (including the chicken).

After your mixture comes to a simmer, kick the heat back until you have the barest of simmers going. You’re not looking to reduce the liquid, just infuse it. Keep at a bare simmer for an hour and a half.

Strain and chill. Skim the fat that rises to the top.

If you’re feeling really froggy, you can save that fat to use as a topper for your ramen. Conversely, if you’re feeling really rushed for time, you can skip the skimming step and all will be well.

Finish The Broth

Season the broth with seasoning sauce until it tastes perfect to you. You may need additional salt or some heat, you may not. We added all of the seasoning sauce to the whole batch of broth and the taste came out perfect. And there you have it, a whole big pot of fabulous, rich, flavorful broth.

Cook The Noodles

Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse in cold water to stop them from clumping and divide into your serving bowls.

Assemble The Dish

Add broth to your noodles until only a small island of noodle is left peeking out. Top the small island with a mousseline scallop, garnish with fresh bacon, chopped chives and jalapeños.

Stand back and enjoy a dish well done.