“Saffron foam brings the wow factor to this colourful dish of sweet and tender scallops.”
Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 5 min
1 kg frozen peas
1 litre boiling water
200ml double cream
salt & pepper
24 scallops (3 per person)
1 clove garlic
400ml skimmed milk
2 pinches of strand saffron
Roughly chop the shallot and garlic and add to a pan with the skimmed milk and saffron. Bring the milk to approx 70°c (it will start to steam). Remove from rhe heat and allow to infude for at least one hour. Strain through a fine sieve.
Blanch the peas in boiling water for 2-3 mins. Be careful not to boil them for too long or they will loose their bright green colour. Strain.
In a pan, gently warm the cream. Place the peas in a liquidizer with about half of the warm cream. Blend. Add more cream if the puree seems too thick.
Pass through a sieve into a clean pan and cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming until you are ready to serve.
Remove the scallops from their shells (see video demo) and trim away the dark organs and the orange coral from the white muscle. Alternatively ask your fishmonger to do this for you – but retain the shell halves for presentation.
Wash and dry the shells thoroughly.
Clean the scallops by wiping them with paper towels. Only wash them if you really need to. Hand dived scallops will be much cleaner than those caught by trawler.
When you are ready to cook and serve the starter, gently warm and season the strained saffron milk and the pea puree.
Toss the scallops in a little rapeseed or corn oil to completely coat. Season with a small pinch of salt.
Pre-heat a non-stick frying pan until it starts to smoke. Place the scallops in the pan and turn the heat down slightly.
Cook for approx 1 to 2 mins per side (depending on size). You want them to be caramelised on both sides but slightly under-done in the centre. Avoid overcooking as they will become rubbery and not nice to eat.
Remove the scallops from the pan and place on kitchen paper. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
To serve, place three small piles of damp, coarse sea salt on each plate. Place a rounded, cleaned scallop shell on each pile, pushing it into the salt to stabilise it.
Place a generous spoonful of the pea puree in each shell and top with a scallop.
Blitz the saffron milk with a stick blender to create a frothy foam. Spoon over the scallops and serve immediately.