Pan-Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Horseradish and Apple
Scallops are one of my favourite ingredients, they are sweet and meaty; delicious! They are not only a delight to eat but a delight to work with… well that is if someone else does all the hard work in cleaning them for you. I have vivid memories of cleaning and opening scallops, then washing my hands using lemon dipped in salt, scrubbing for ages and then it still smells intensely after all the washing and scrubbing. The smell lingers on your hands for a long time.
The combination of cauliflower, scallops and apple is not new; no it’s done and dusted by fellow cooks for many years, but let’s face it, it’s rather good, and my old saying is if it is not broken then do not fix it. Cooking is not about re-inventing the wheel, no, for me it’s about doing a job well and doing it right. The execution, presentation and taste is of prime importance.
I love food, and of course eating it is that all important bit I really like. I also get bored of food very quickly, especially if the foods I’m eating combined have one dimensional texture or taste. For me, a plate of food must be exciting not only to look at but also to eat. When designing a dish I’m looking for different textures and tastes; every mouthful must have a little surprise installed; then it’s exciting!
To season the scallops I dug my old magic curry powder recipe out. The intentions with this salted curry dust is not to give the scallops a curry flavour but to enhance the taste and flavour of the sweet scallops. I use the dust as a seasoning as you would normally season the scallops with salt and pepper. I do not, however, use pepper as I feel the strength of the pepper will overpower it all.
Ingredients & Method
- 1 granny smith apple
- 200ml cold water
- 200g caster sugar
- juice of one lemon
Cauliflower, Apple and Horseradish Puree
- 20g unsalted butter
- 2 in number coxes or granny smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1 head of cauliflower, shredded
- 200ml apple juice
- 200ml milk
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 50g freshly grated horseradish
- 1 cauliflower head divided into 20 pence piece florettes
- 20g cornflour
- 75g self-raising flour + 2tbs extra
- 125ml sparkling water
- 1 free range egg yolk
- 2 free range egg whites
- Pinch curry powder
- Sunflower oil for deep-frying
- 1/4tsp mild curry powder
- 1/2tsp Maldon
- hand dived scallops, prepared
- sea salt
- 1tbs peanut or sunflower oil
First prepare the apple crisps. Preheat the oven to 100 °C. Dissolve the sugar in the water and lemon juice, bring it to the boil and simmer for two minute, leave to cool until needed. Wash the apple and remove the core with a apple corer, slice the apple finely using a mandolin approximately 2mm thick slices. Dip each slice in the cooled syrup and lay it flat on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Dry the apple crisps in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes, keep a eye on it so that it does not brown however the crisps must dry and be crisp once cooled.
While the apples are in the oven make the cauliflower, apple and horseradish puree. Heat a large saucepan, melt the butter, once it starts to foam add the apple, cauliflower and seasoning. Saute until the cauliflower and apple starts to take on a bit of colour, add the apple juice and milk, reduce the heat cover the pan with a lid and gently simmer until the cauliflower and apple is tender, add the freshly grated horseradish and blend until smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning if need.
For the cauliflower beignets. Mix the flour, cornflour, salt, egg yolk and sparkling water into a smooth paste. Whip the egg whites until fluffy and stop just before the soft peak stage . Fold the egg whites into the beignet batter and leave to settle for five minutes. Cook the cauliflower in salted boiling water until tender, refresh in ice water and drain well. Mix the two table spoons of extra flour with a a pinch of salt and curry powder. Heat the oil to 160ºC in a deep fat fryer. Once it reaches the correct temperature, toss the cauliflower in the seasoned flour, dust off the excess and then dip each floret in the batter and fry them for about two minutes until golden brown all over. Drain on kitchen paper and season immediately with salt and serve immediately.
For the scallops , mix the salt and curry powder to make a seasoning.
Heat a non-stick frying pan with the oil, season the scallops of both sides with the curry salt, once the pan is hot enough place the scallops presentation side down into the pan for 2minutes, the scallops will caramelise and turn golden, flip it over and continue cooking for a further 1 minute on the reverse side. Drain on kitchen paper.
To Serve spoon the warm cauliflower puree onto warm plates, arrange the cauliflower beignets and serve three scallops per portion, arrange the apple crisps and garnish lightly with herb cress leaves. Serve immediately.