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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! : /

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