with Corn, Bacon and Red Pepper Ragout
This dish makes an excellent starter for a meal or a nice lunch when served with a simple green salad. I use Qualicum Bay scallops and peaches-and-cream corn, both of which are local products, but you can substitute other varieties of either.
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 slices smoked bacon, in ¼-inch dice
½ cup diced red onions
1 cup corn kernels, cut off the cob
½ red bell pepper, in ¼ inch dice (about ½ cup)
1 Thai chili, seeded and finely minced
Juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 large scallops (muscles removed from sides if present)
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar and lemon juice. Set aside.
Heat a large frying pan on medium. Add the bacon and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until crisp. Stir in onions, corn, bell peppers and chili and sauté for 2 minutes, then add lime juice and butter. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low and simmer while scallops are cooking. (Or refrigerate the ragout in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Preheat a stovetop grill or a barbecue to medium-high. Warm a plate in the oven at 200º F. Pat scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper and a dash of olive oil. Grill scallops for 2 minutes, turn over and grill for another 1 minute. Transfer to the warm plate.
Divide the ragout evenly among 4 plates and top each serving with 3 scallops. Spoon about 2 tsp of the soy dressing over each plate and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.
Chef Rob Feenie, Executive Chef, Cactus Restaurants Ltd.
The driving culinary force behind Cactus Restaurants Ltd., the award-winning collection of 26 casual fine dining restaurants in BC, Alberta and Saskatoon, Rob Feenie is also one of Canada’s most recognized and celebrated chefs.
At Cactus Restaurants Ltd., Chef Feenie leads the culinary team, blending his talent for creating elegant, globally-inspired cuisine with his passion for simple dishes using fresh, sustainable ingredients. Chef Feenie’s innovative approach to cooking has continued to drive the evolution of Cactus Club Cafe’s menu selections and its commitment to sourcing the best fresh, local and sustainable products wherever possible.
Growing up in Burnaby, BC, Chef Feenie first developed a curiosity for international cuisine over countless traditional family dinners at his Japanese neighbours’ home. This early experience was followed by a high school exchange program where he was first introduced to European chefs and techniques. At 20, Chef Feenie attended the Dubrulle Culinary Institute in Vancouver and upon graduating, became a Sous-chef in some of Western Canada’s top restaurants, notably Le Crocodile and Cherry Stone Cove in Vancouver and The Rim Rock Café in Whistler.
While at Le Crocodile he began a series of work and educational trips, or stages, throughout Europe and North America, starting in Alsace with Chef Emile Jung at Au Crocodile and Chef Antoine Westermann at Le Buerehiesel, both Michelin three-star rated restaurants. In North America he worked with Chef Charlie Trotter, at Trotter’s Restaurant in Chicago, and Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Jean-Georges in New York.
In 1995 Chef Feenie opened the internationally celebrated Lumière Restaurant in Vancouver, followed by Lumière Tasting Bar and then Feenie’s, a more casual Canadian Bistro, next door to Lumière, in 2003. Throughout his career, Chef Feenie has secured international culinary recognition, including the coveted Relais Gourmand and Traditions et Qualitè designations, in addition to the Mobil Travel Guide four-stars designation and the AAA Five Diamond Award. In 2009 and 2011, Chef Feenie won the Vancouver Gold Medal Plates competition.
Chef Feenie has published four cookbooks: Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics, Rob Feenie Cooks at Lumière, Lumière Light and Feenie’s. He also starred on New Classics with Chef Rob Feenie on Food Network Canada for five seasons. In 2005 Feenie became the first Canadian to win on the popular television show Iron Chef America by defeating Chef Masaharu Morimoto.