Saturday, 13 July 2013

Scallops with latkes and minty peas

Peas to the world!
Scallops are one my favourite treats, but they are so pricey that they don't feature in our kitchen very often. But they do make delicious appetizers and cocktail treats - with or without Serrano ham!

The ocean variety is blessed with so much size, taste and meaty texture that they don't really require too much accompaniments. This time I served them with latkes and minty pea puré. Mint and peas - they just love each other! And peas are very much in season right now, too!

The starting point for this was that soup that's been made earlier in this blog. If you want, you could add more stock and turn this into a sauce, in case you'd rather serve these big boys as a starter with some green salad.  The sauce also goes nicely with grilled fish.

Latkes are mini röstis, a.k.a potato pancakes that are an inseparable part of Jewish Hanukkah celebrations. In our kitchen they are an essential part of the whole foodie year - they make such as starters or cocktail treats with just about any toppings one can think of. Sour cream with some lemon zest and cold smoked salmon, perfectly rosé roast beef and mayonnaise spiked with some horseradish... sky (and your imagination) is the only limit! Latkes can also be made of sweet potatos in which case prawns fried in sweet chili sauce served with some lime mayo are a tough combo to beat.

This recipe makes 8 pieces

The scallops:

8 large scallops
salt, pepper
(clarified) butter for frying

Pat the scallops dry. Season them and fry in a hot pan for a couple of minutes each side. Let them caramelize, which means not moving them around back and forth.

The latkes:

2 largeish potatos
1/2 smallish onion
salt, white pepper

oil for frying

Peel the potatos and grate them on top of a tea towel. Lift the edges so the potatos are left in the middle and using the towel squeeze most of the excess moisture out so that most of the grated potatos are dry. Move into a bowl. Finely chop the onion and mix with potatos. Season and and fry in a fairly hot pan. Drop a tablespoon-full of mix into a pan, press it down with the back of the spoon and (if you're neurotic like me) use it to even out the edges into a round formation. Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil - if it's too hot, the latkes will burn without getting properly cooked and will end bitter). As they start getting colour, toss them over and fry on the other side. Drain on a kitchen towel, lift the scallop on top and top with about a teaspoon-full minty peas.

Minty peas:

100 g peas
1/4 smallish onion
salt, pepper
a dash of lemon or lime juice
0,5 dl - 1 dl chicken stock
about 8 chopped mint leaves (or about 1/2 tsp dried variety)

Sauté the onion in butter until translucent. Add the peas and cook until piping hot. Blizz with some stock until you're left with a puré of your desired consistency. Add chopped mint. Add a dash of lemon or lime juice, season and serve.

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