I wasn’t planning on doing a seafood dish this week, until I saw these lovely hand dived scallops at my local fishmongers in Victoria Park village. It’s the last day of national curry week and I wanted to incorporate that into my dish.
To accompany the scallops I used a parsnip purée, roasted baby parsnips, parsnip crisps, puffed wild rice, crispy Parma Ham, a pickled apple gel, fresh apple batons, curry oil and garnished with micro coriander.
There are so many textures and flavours going on in this dish! It not only tasted amazing but also felt amazing to eat. I know I’m enthusiastic about all my dishes but this is seriously something special.
I seasoned the scallops with sea salt and seared in a hot pan until golden on one side, turned them, added a knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and took them off the heat to let them finish cooking with the residual heat.
For the puffed wild rice, heat oil in a pan to around 180℃, add the rice, which will puff almost instantly, transfer on to kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil and season.
The apple components bring a tart, fresh and crisp flavour, balancing the dish out nicely. I made my apple gel by cooking 4 Granny smith apples (un-peeled) in 125ml water and 125ml of chardonnay vinegar. Once the apples are soft use a slotted spoon to transfer to your blender (I used my Nutri Bullet pro) add a splash of the left over pickling liquor and blitz until smooth. Have a little taste if you think it’s not sharp enough add another splash of the chardonnay vinegar. I used Ultratex to thicken my gel, passed though a fine chinois and blitzed again. (You can buy Ulratex from Amazon or you could just reduce your purée until you have a thick consistency)
The parsnips add amazing textures and a sweet taste. For the purée I peeled and diced 4 parsnips, cooked in 125ml double cream and 125ml of milk. When the parsnips are nice and soft use a slotted spoon to transfer to your blender, add a splash of the cream and milk mixture, add a knob of butter, a pinch of salt and blitz. You will be left with a silky, glossy smooth purée. Roast your baby parsnips with little honey until caramelized. Peel a parsnip, then using your peeler, shave the parsnip, fry shavings until golden. Place on kitchen roll to soak up the excess oil.
1 tsp Madras curry powder
100ml extra virgin olive oil, warmed
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and finely chopped
2 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
½ grated zest and juice of a lime
A pinch of sea salt
In a small frying pan over a medium heat, toast the Madras powder for 5 minutes, then add to the warm olive oil with the lemongrass, lime leaves and lime zest. Stir then cover and set aside in a warm place to infuse for an hour. Strain the oil through a fine chinois into a bowl. Add the lime juice and sea salt. Cover until needed.
Use the curry oil to dress the dish and bring all those amazing elements together, adding a subtle spiced flavour that really works! I added crispy Parma Ham because it works well with scallops, adds a salty flavour and because I had some in my fridge that needed using! Garnish with the coriander to add little hits of freshness!
All in all this is a great dish. It’s not that complex to make and tastes amazing!