2/08/2013 11:50:00 AM

Shrimp is the Key to Scallops and Gluten-Free Noodles at Verdad

Nick Farina has been playing around with modernist ingredients for years, but two new items on the menu at Verdad represent what the chef says is the first time they actually make a dish better. Thanks to the use of transglutaminase (sometimes referred to a “meat glue”), he is able to serve noodles that are made entirely from shrimp, making them perfect for those trying to avoid gluten.

The shrimp pasta should also please diners who don’t have to worry about staying gluten-free - Farina first served the noodles beneath fish, but they were so popular he decided they deserved a dish all their own. “They tasted better than any other noodle I’ve ever eaten in my life,” he affirms. Look for them at the Bryn Mawr tequila bar with piquillo peppers, zucchini, eggplant and lemongrass for $14.

Molecular “scallops” are the other transglutaminase winner. Fresh Atlantic sea scallops are puréed into a mousse, which is then wrapped around a raw shrimp and pan-seared. “scallops are tender and juicy, with a subtle sweetness,” Farina says, “but they don’t have that much flavor.” As the shrimp cooks in the center of his new creation, it release its juices into the surrounding scallop and makes something better than the sum of its parts. The “scallops” are served with a roasted Brussels sprouts, fennel and carrots for $16 (610-520-9100).

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