Seared Scallops with minted pea purée and crispy prosciutto

24 Feb

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It was a bit of a special weekend last weekend – Pat and I have been together for a long (and wonderful, of course!) four years. My, how time flies. I could babble on about meaningful memories and romantic gestures, but really it was more of an excuse for us to cook up some rich, impressive and delicious food, drink champagne, and pretty much just take a weekend off! Ha! I decided I wanted to cook; as you know normally Pat does most of the impressive proper cooking, and I stick to the baking and quick old fashioned home cooked meals, but recently I’ve been getting much more into the cooking side of things when there’s an excuse to take a bit more time. I chose to cook scallops followed by duck breast with Savoy cabbage and sautéed potatoes, ending with chocolate fondants and minted mascarpone. Unfortunately I will only be telling you about the former two as the fondants were a little bit of a disaster – tip: don’t cook fondants when you’ve polished off a bottle of bubbly, and don’t make them using margarine! In hindsight I wish I took photos of the gloop, because it was quite funny, and we did polish it all off anyway!

This menu is by no means frugal, but it was a special occasion and it was much cheaper than eating out can be. Pat picked up some fabulous scallops from a local fishmonger. If there’s one thing he’s really taught me about food, it’s that you can’t scrimp on certain ingredients – spending that little bit extra does make a huge difference (I’m not talking about standard store cupboard ingredients where I still maintain that often the expensive brands are no better than the cheaper ones, but simply have shinier packaging). The scallops were no exception; they were enormous! I’ve never cooked scallops before, but they are so simple to cook, and so delicious. The duck I was a little nervous about as it turned out a little dry last time I cooked it, but it turned out really well this time! Recipe for duck to follow in the next post.

Recipe

150-200g frozen petits pois
Handful fresh mint
150ml chicken stock
6 scallops (rinsed and feet removed)
2 slices prosciutto
Ground cumin
Butter, for frying

1. Place some greaseproof paper on a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the prosciutto slices in half lengthways and arrange on the greaseproof paper. Cover with another piece of greaseproof paper and put another baking tray on top of this to keep them flat. Bake for around 8 minutes until crispy, keep an eye on them every minute or so if they need longer as they can burn easily.

2. In the meantime put the peas in a pan and cover with the chicken stock. Boil for around 3 minutes, until cooked but still nice and green. Drain the stock into a bowl and whizz up the peas with the washed mint in a food processor until smooth. Add a little of the stock at a time until you get the consistency you want (preferably thick enough to quinelle onto a plate).

3. Sprinkle a little cumin, salt and pepper over each side of the scallops. Over a highish heat get a non stick pan nice and hot. Add a good teaspoon of butter to the pan and once melted place the scallops neatly in a circle in the pan. Cook for 1 minute then turn over, making sure you turn them in order of when they were placed in the pan.

4. To plate, get your (preferably warm) plates on the side. Its best to use white plates to show off the beautiful colours – I made the mistake of using red. Place 3 quinelles of pea purée in a nice line along the plate and rest a scallop atop each. Arrange your prosciutto between the scallops, or if crispy enough you could stand one long piece up tall.

Serve immediately.

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One Response to “Seared Scallops with minted pea purée and crispy prosciutto”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Seared Duck with Smoky Savoy Cabbage | DrinksAndNibbles - March 13, 2013

    […] ago, I cooked up a bit of an indulgent treat for a special occasion for myself and Pat. After the delicious scallops, I chose to try cooking duck again! Last time I wasn’t overly taken with the recipe I used, […]

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