Clay Conley Shoots Down A Rumor And Serves Up A Recipe

In yesterday's Short Order I suggested that a major unnamed chef would be shortly leaving a major unnamed restaurant. I was alluding to Clay Conley of Azul, in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. When I contacted the chef to see if the rumor was true, he started off by stating "I'm not leaving." This seemed a fairly straightforward denial, until he added "I mean obviously I'm always looking around as a chef. But no plans yet."

While I had one of our most talented toques on the phone, I asked if he would share a Thanksgiving recipe with Short Order. He graciously has, and it looks like a great one. Hit the jump for: Butternut Soup with Nantucket Scallops, Hazelnut, and Brown Butter

Butternut Soup with Nantucket Scallops, Hazelnut, and Brown Butter

Soup Ingredients

* 4 ounces whole butter
    * 4 ounces sliced Parma ham
    * 1 cup chanterelles, cleaned and chopped
    * 4 whole shallots, sliced
    * 4 whole garlic cloves, sliced
    * 1 whole onion, sliced
    * 1 each leeks, sliced
    * 4 stalks celery, sliced
    * 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
    * 1⁄2 teaspoon clove

* 2 star anise
    * 1 cup white wine
    * 4 cups chicken stock
    * 2 each roasted squash
    * 1 cup cream
    * 4 sprigs fresh thyme
    * 1⁄4 cup maple syrup
    * Salt
    * Pepper


Melt butter in a large saucepan, and sauté Parma ham until slightly browned.

Add vegetables and sweat.

Deglaze with wine and allow to almost completely evaporate.

Add squash pulp, chicken stock cream and thyme and simmer for 3o minutes, then add maple.

Season with salt and white pepper, and remove star anise.

Pass to blender in small batches and blend until silky smooth

Pass through fine strainer

Ingredients for Scallops

* 3 tablespoons cold butter
    * 36 Nantucket bay scallops
    * 1 shallot minced
    * 1⁄2 teaspoon ginger, minced
    * Juice of half a lemon
    * 2 oz white wine
    * 2 tablespoons hazelnut, roasted and chopped
    * 1 tablespoon veal demi


Brown the butter in a large sauté pan over very high heat.

Add the scallops and sear quickly.

Remove the scallops to a plate.

Working quickly, sauté shallot ginger, then deglaze with lemon and wine.

Add nuts and veal demi and reduce.

Return scallops and top soup.

--Lee Klein

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