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at the London Cooking Project based in Battersea.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Recipe / Experiment: Hand Dived Isle of Man King Scallops wrapped in Pancetta (30mins)

Recently I was presented with some spectacular hand dived King scallops (monsters they were!) form the Isle of Man. I was given them by my rather chuffed flat mate who’d brought them back for me to cook with!! Touch! They were absolute beauties so I thought I’d do something simple with them:

Wrap them in smoked pancetta, baste them in butter and serve with a sharp blueberry sauce. Alone it’s barely a snack, so I thought a nice accompaniment would be a little rillettes, some pickled shimeji mushrooms, toasted sour dough baton and a little butter. Oh and a little arugula salad!

Wrap them in smoked pancetta, baste them in butter and serve with a sharp blueberry sauce. Alone it’s barely a snack, so I thought rillettes  would make a nice accompaniment, some pickled shimeji mushrooms to balance the heaviness of the rillettes & some toasted sour dough baton with a little butter. Oh and a little arugula salad!

(I was also the happy recipient of some Queenies - also Isle of Man scallops - but that another story! A rather more complicated and experimental one!)

Cooked in this order active cooking time is about 40 minutes! Total time 3hrs (takes longer to read that do!)
* Confit the meat.

* Pickle the mushrooms.

* Make blueberry sauce.

* Wrap the scallops (and allow to warm to room temp).

. . .  ~2hrs later . . 

* Drain the oil from the confit and put the wine on to reduce.

* Mix the rillettes.

* Toast bread - optional. (or roast the whole baguette!)

. . and (imagine a massive moustache and a paintbrush!) drum roll, the pièce de résistance . . 

* Sear and baste the scallops.

* Assemble, dress & serve immediately!

tada . . .  : )

Sounds like a lot but it took less than 30 minute to make this for 4 people, whilst quaffing le vin and chatting to them! ; )

ingredients (serves 4 - starter)

for the rillettes (makes ~500g - enough for 8)
(200C / 20m then 120C / 1h40m) 
8 rabbit legs / 4 chicken thighs (confit, then pulled)
350ml white wine
2 onion (medium dice)
5g thyme (picked)
5g rosemary (picked)
4 cloves garlic (peeled & flattened)
olive oil to cover
150g soft cheese
5g english mustard
Place the onion, wine, garlic and thyme into the bottom of a small ovenproof bowl (that has a lid)
Season the rabbit legs (or 2 skinless chicken thighs) with salt and pepper and place them on top.
Cover with oil by 1cm. Put the lid on an place into a preheated oven at 200C.
After 20m turn the temperature down to 120C.
After 1 hour and 40 minutes remove the confit from the oven.
Remove the rabbit / chicken and ladle off as much oil as possible. 
Keep the oil it will be nicely flavoured. (Good to brush onto bread instead of butter for example)
Pour the remains into a small sauce pan, reduce this mix until it’s nice and thick & blend with a stick blender until smooth.
Take it off the heat and add the soft cheese and mustard and mix well.
Pull the meat off the bone and mix it into the cheese. Season with salt and pepper / mustard if it needs it.
Put it into a suitable container for the table, cover with cling film and allow to cool.

for the blueberry sauce
100g blueberries
150ml water
5g sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 lemon (juiced)
Put 12 blueberries aside.
Put rest of the blue berries, sugar and water into a small sauce pan, bring to the boil, then set to simmer.
Once the blueberries are soft, pulse with a stick blender until smooth & pass through a sieve into a container.
Squeeze the lemon juice (through the sieve) reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon.
Take it off the heat and at the remaining blueberries.
Warm when required.

for the scallops (pièce de résistance!)
8 king scallops (patted dry)
16 slices of pancetta 
or 8 slices parma ham (cut lengthways in half)
75g clarified butter
75g olive oil
Pat the scallops dry then wrap them in a half a slice of parma ham.
Put aside on some kitchen towel on a tray and allow to warm to room temp before searing.
Add enough oil to coat the pan.
At the point where it’s almost smoking, then add the scallops and sear them until the bottoms are brown. (actually the top once plated)
Roll them in the pan to slightly colour the pancetta. (optional - I like to still be soft)
Holding the pan at an angle add the butter and once it’s hot (not brown) start basting the scallops.
If you are using normal butter allow it to stop foaming before you start basting. (All the water will have evaporated and the oil/butter will then start to rise above 100C - the boiling point of water - giving a nicer result)

for the sour dough bread
good quality sour dough baguette
salted butter (optional since you have rillettes)
Slice & toast.
Serve with a knob of butter. 

for the garnish
80g arugula
16 pickled shimeji mushrooms 
lemon juice & zest
drizzle EVO
I’ve garnished this dish with arugula, because it tastes better than rocket! (in my memory at least!) Funny how the mind works isn’t it!! The first time I came across this leaf was when I was living Barcelona, which has a lot of great and exciting memories attached to it, the second reason being that it was introduced as arugula by a rather cute american lass who was working in the green grocers where I regularly shopped. She was full of good tips! They were larger less strong leaves than the ones you get in the supermarkets in London with a much subtler flavour and altogether better tasting! 

FYI: Arugula & Rocket are both Eruca Sativa (aka salad rocket, rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, and roquette)

stick blender

thinking ahead
The rillettes will last for 2weeks in the fridge, no problem!

what could go wrong? (notes)
I fell asleep reading the recipe, the other half put a wine cork in my left nostril! : /

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Prince Party, Menu & Comments: You are the ROCK STARS of munch!

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab

I know it looks like a lot of princes but there are actually quite a few princesses in the mix!!!

We were recently asked to do a Prince themed party. The brief was relatively carte blanche, with one course was specifically requested: a beetroot cured salmon, and 2 others that had been remembered from a menu I did 6 years ago: my Pea Soup & Ham Hock and my Beef Wellington!

Here's what I made for the evenings banquet:

~ ferdiesfoodlab ~
(may 2016)

pea and basil soup w/ ham chunks & parmesan
petit pois finely blended w/ 
an onion reduction & fresh basil
topped w/ crispy ham hock
(contains: pork)

SOUP was great
lovely veggie food
pea soup amazing - best Ive ever had

purple salmon
beetroot cured salmon w/ horseradish parfait 
served w/ an orange and beetroot reduction and red pepper puree
(contains: salmon, dairy)


spicy arancini croquettes w/ spring onion dip & red pepper puree
lightly spiced crispy arancini croquette w/ spring onion dip
served on a bed of sweet lemon dressed rocket
(contains: mushroom, gluten, dairy)

green bomb 
w/ hot & sour cucumber spaghetti

the green bomb is a crispy coated little beastie filled w/ herbs, spices & vegetarian haggis
served w/ shredded cucumber 
dressed asian style 
(contains: eggs, gluten, dairy)

Amazing Food, Good Service, Happy Days X

beef wellington w/ cauliflower california
a classic fillet of beef on a duxelle base wrapped in flakey pastry
served w/ spiced cauliflower fruit salad w/ almonds & red pepper & beetroot puree
(contains: beef, egg, nuts, gluten)


leek & aubergine pie w/ cauliflower california
leek, aubergine & chickpea pie 
w/ hints of rosemary & cream
served w/ cauliflower & fruit salad 
topped w/ toasted almonds
(contains: gluten, egg free)

butterscotch clouds & raspberry sorbet
butterscotch creme patissier, various meringues,
served w/ a raspberry & grenadine sorbet
raspberries, pomegranate, passion fruit & rum baba
(contains: dairy, gluten, eggs, pistachio)

~ petit fours ~
coffee bean chocolates, black olive ganache & sweet cherries
roasted coffee beans coated in dark chocolate,
black olives & salted caramel coated in milk chocolate,
fresh succulent cherries

You are the rock stars of munch!


Amazing Food, Good Service, Happy Days X

Great Experience, lovely food - veggie


Really really yummy, I loved it

Soup, salmon & wellington GREAT thank you.

You are the rock stars of munch

You guys rocks [SIC]

pea soup amazing - best Ive ever had

very sympathetic to veggie like me

Your dinner made me go bonkers! WELL DONE

Zombie prince is eyeballing me man! They all are!

G R E A T   P A R T Y!

RIP Prince : /

HAPPY Birthday Immy! : )

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
Fancy getting stuck in? Click on the image above and to see how : ) . . . hope to see you soon.

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


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