– My MasterChef Romantic Appetiser –
Pan-fried Scallops with Black Pudding and Warm Fennel Salad
I love the BBC cookery contest MasterChef and avidly watch it every year; however, one of the aspects that amuses me about the television series, is the constant use of scallops in the contestant’s dishes…….I have seen pan-fried scallops, seared scallops, poached scallops, fire-roasted scallops and all served on beds of varies vegetable purées with an assortment of chorizo sausages, bacon, pancetta and black pudding. There is no denying the popularity of this wonderful shellfish and I do love this glamorous celebrity ingredient, so, when I received my hamper from Delish Fish recently, (for my winning photo on Fish is the Dish) I was delighted to see that part of my fishy booty was a packet of wild king scallops, shelled and ready to devour. I immediately began to think about developing a recipe for them, but in the meantime I discovered some queen scallops lurking in my freezer that needed cooking, so I decided to use them for my experimental dish, just in case it all went horribly wrong and I ruined my beautiful wild king scallops! A message for John from Delish Fish, your wild king scallops are on my menu next, now that I know this recipe is a winner!
After my rather mocking tone about scallops and black pudding you may wonder why I have decided to share a recipe for this popular MasterChef combination, well the answer is easy, it is a wonderful marriage of textures and flavours and I rather fancied it as special dish for a celebratory occasion. I did stop short of adding the ubiquitous vegetable purée however, I wanted a fresh flavour and texture for my winning duo, and that had to be a fennel. I wanted a crunch but not too much, so I devised a warm fennel salad where the crunchy edge had just been taken of the sliced fennel, and it could be served wearing a demure citrus dressing. The whole flavour combination could have failed on a colossal scale, but luckily it didn’t, and it was just so elegant and full of piscine sophistication. I was, as you may have gathered, very pleased and smug about my new romantic recipe, and I hope you may try this for your romantic appetiser this Valentine’s Day.
So here it is with a flourish of fennel, my recipe for Pan-Fried Scallops with Black Pudding and Warm Fennel Salad – look out for my next recipe when I will use my wild king scallops from Scotland, and, I also have a few baked treats up my culinary sleeve too, see you tomorrow, Karen.