I’ve been cooking Asian almost every day these past few weeks – so it’s time to change some flavour profile. Let me re-iterate again that I’m a recipe hoarder and now, cookbook addict too! Recently, thanks to Black Friday & Cyber Monday promotions, I’ve ordered 12 cookbooks (or more, I think). The only problem now is to make space on my book shelf to accommodate these new books :). And I’m not even sure if I have the space.
“Dear Santa, I wish for a new book shelf – I mean a large, large one. So large, that I will need a staircase to reach the top shelf!”
I am obsessed with scallops and that’s a fact. It’s one of the seafood that I greatly love and I mean, GREATLY love to eat and enjoy. Being able to find fresh juicy scallops without paying a premium price in Melbourne has spoilt me and my purse.
The recipe’s adapted from our very own Australian Masterchef hottie Andy Allen’s debut cookbook The Next Element. The simple recipes that is translated into easy-to-understand-steps make it easy for a home-cook like me to understand. So, it’s definitely a book worth investing.
If you want to wow your pals or just having that special home-cooked dinner for two, this is a colourful appetiser dish that will please them or your date, of course. Not only does it look beautiful, the tangy lemon and sweet currant vinaigrette adds a much needed zest to this dish too.
Seared Scallops with Corn Puree and Currant Vinaigrette (adapted from Andy Allen’s The Next Element)
8 juicy fresh scallops, rinsed and pat dry
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Small cauliflower head
pinch of salt
2 fresh corn cobs
250ml chicken stock
1/2 tsp shallots, finely diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp currants
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp cream
6-8 thinly sliced radish, for garnish
1. Place corn cob on top of a curved bowl and with a small knife, slice corn kernels from the corn cob starting from top to bottom. Discard the cobs. Set the kernels aside. Then, cut the cauliflower into mini florets.
2. Heat up the chicken stock in a small stock pot and bring to a boil. Cook the corn kernels in the boiling stock for 5-8 mins. Remove and strain the corn. Keep the stock for use later.
3. Now, heat up another small pot with water, drop a pinch of salt and bring to boil. Blanch the cauliflower florets for 1 min. Drain and set aside.
4. To make the vinaigrette, mix the diced shallots, lemon juice and currants together in a small bowl. Set aside.
5. To make corn puree – place the boiled corn in a blender and add 1 tbsp of reserved stock, butter and cream. Puree until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Then pass the puree through a fine sieve to remove the corn remnants.
6. Drizzle 1/2 tbsp olive oil over the scallops. Season scallops with some sea salt and ground black pepper. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add the scallops and leave it to cook on one side for 25-30 secs until brown and caramelised. Then flip to the other side and cook till brown. Careful not to overcook the scallops. Remove from the pan and set aside.
7. To serve – Use the back of a spoon to smear the corn puree on the serving plate. Then place 4 scallops on each plate (in my case it’s 5 scallops hehehe) and drizzle cauliflower florets over it. Now, in the vinaigrette bowl, whisk in 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Then, spoon the vinaigrette over the scallops. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with thinly sliced radish.