The Flavor: More from pomegranate Chef Alejandro Rivera
The story below is excerpted from our Sept./Oct. 2014 issue. For the full story view our digital edition for FREE today!
Chef Alejandro Rivera wants to encompass something for everyone when they visit pomegranate restaurant (and yes, they like it lowercase).
Chef Alejandro Rivera opened half a dozen restaurants in other states, perfecting his technique before opening pomegranate restaurant in Troutville. Rivera prides himself on the wine selection and pairings, as well as using local products as often as possible. The menu is seasonal, desserts are homemade and every ingredient is used to its full extent.
pomegranates offer bounty, the insides plentiful; thus, the name of the restaurant was born. The building itself used to be a feed house, and is now one of the few places in Troutville with live music. Bluegrass, jazz, rock, country-western – you name it, they’ve had a band there play it.
Chef Rivera doesn’t have much free time, but when he does, he still has his restaurant on the brain. He’s involved with two wine clubs, where he learns even more about pairings.
“In a group format, you can hone your own skills. Someone can verbalize what you are trying to put into words. It’s almost like work because you have to take notes and pay attention,” he says with a laugh.
I was able to taste test Chef Rivera’s scallop recipe and can say with certainty you are going to love this dish! Light and flavorful, it’s one I’ll be making in my own kitchen in the coming months. To learn how to make Chef Rivera’s oven-dried tomatoes and red onion marmalade, check out our blog!
Scallops with Summer Tomatoes & Bacon Butter
(Three large scallops)
- 3 large scallops
- Diced tomatoes, bacon, garlic and shallots
- 3-4 tablespoons butter
- White wine (chardonnay or other dry white wine)
Pat scallops dry, season with salt and pepper (the thicker the scallop, the better the sear without overcooking).
Cut bacon very thin; render in pan over medium-high heat for fat to liquefy; remove bacon from pan.
Lower heat to medium and cook scallops in bacon fat for 1.5-2 minutes on each side; remove from pan.
Add diced tomatoes, shallots, garlic and bacon and white wine into pan; simmer. Stir in butter and turn off heat; sauce will thicken.
Plate scallops (over oven-dried tomato if desired) with tomato mixture and summer slaw.