Monday, 30 May 2011

How not to do a dinner party (and a scallop recipe)

As you may have guessed, I enjoy cooking – it’s playtime for me, but annoyingly some people seem daunted by the thought of cooking for me in return (don’t be, for the record keep it simple and wine flowing and I’m happy).

Happily though, my old boss Joe and his wife Tracey just enjoy themselves and so when they’re coming over my wife lets me play. This is the menu from a recent visit:

·         Tuna Tartar, spiked with lime zest & wasabi and dressed with a spherified mango “yolk” and toasted nori

·         Seven Seas Scallop

·         Rabbit 2 ways, confit of East Lothian bunny leg and a Wellington of rabbit loin and sweetbreads with a pearl barley spring veg risotto, feta mousse and rabbit & Madeira reduction

·         Truffled Brie

·         Grilled pineapple with lemon thyme ice-cream

Here’s the recipe for the Scallop, the name is a bit of a conceit as it started as a scallop with a carrot and cumin velouté and evolved from there:

Seven Seas Scallop

·         1 large hand dived scallop per person

·         Salmon Caviar (Keta)

·         Cox’s (or another crisp) apple

·         Chorizo (I find the Bath Pig best as it’s got amazing taste & texture)

·         Chives

And for the velouté
      ·         Fresh Carrot

·         Cumin seed

·         Cream

First, make the velouté, boil the carrots and cumin seed in unsalted water till soft, drain and reserve the water then roughly smash the carrot in the pan and add the double cream, bring to a simmer and reduce slowly – add the carrot water to help adjust for consistency, season with salt and a little champagne vinegar, blitz with an immersion blender and pass through a sieve. This can now wait until service.
Up to an hour before you plan to serve, take the scallops out of the fridge, cut the apple into small batons and put in acidulated water, cut the chorizo into 5mm cubes.

10 minutes before service, gently warm through the velouté and the chorizo.

When it’s time to serve, pan sear the (unseasoned) scallops over a decent heat to get them nice and crispy on the outside but soft and raw inside; place in a warm bowl and scatter the chorizo cubes around the scallop, pour some of the velouté over the chorizo (if you want to, kick some lecithin into the velouté, blitz it and serve it as a warm foam) then dress the plate with the apple batons, and chives before adding  a large spoonful of salmon caviar to the top of the scallop.


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