Right. So I thought it was probably about time I actually wrote a proper blog post. With it being the end of term and almost the end of the academic year (?!?!), I’ve got deadlines and exams looming, which therefore seems like the perfect time to procrastinate in the form of this blog. Although I’m currently not even at uni, here goes my first proper ‘foodie’ blog post.
So after what seems like the quickest term ever, I’m back home again for the Easter hols. Mum decided we should have fish tonight because it’s Good Friday today and apparently its traditional, so we decided to treat ourselves and have scallops. I bloody love scallops. So much. I served them with sautéed spinach, cauliflower purée and bacon cabbage. I decided to simply pan fry the scallops in some butter, because I think their sweet flavour is just too good to overcomplicate with any other flavours. The extra oil is just because butter burns quite quickly, so combining it with oil stops this from happening. You want to use an oil that has a high smoke point, because some oils, like olive oil, don’t do well at high temperatures and can release toxic chemicals. So something like a sunflower or ground nut oil would be perfect in this dish, because they have high smoke points as well as being relatively flavourless. Anyhoo, enough about oils, back to the dream that is scallops. They caramelised in my pan just beautifully, so I decided to make the left over sweet buttery goodness into more of a sauce by adding a tiny glug of wine. Despite being a student and drinking pretty much anything, I really don’t like Chardonnay, so I decided to use it up by putting it in this dish. It’s fairly dry acidic-ness meant it was actually a really good contrast with the sweet scallops. Similarly, the slightly bitter spinach and the salty bacon contrasted perfectly. The cauliflower in the purée was boiled in milk and vanilla, which may seem a bit odd, but it added something different and just worked wonderfully.
FOR THE SCALLOPS
– 2tsp butter
– Dash sunflower oil
– Scallops (about 10-12 small ones per person)
– Drop dry white wine
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER PURÉE (makes three/four portions)
– 1 cauliflower
– 150ml milk
– Drop vanilla paste
– Knob butter
– Tbsp double cream
FOR THE CABBAGE (makes 4 portions)
– 4 rashes of smoked bacon
– 1 small onion
– 1 green savoy cabbage
FOR THE SPINACH (makes 3 portions)
– 1 bag of spinach
– 1 clove of garlic
– Dash water
FOR THE SCALLOPS
1. Put half the butter and oil in a frying pan and heat on a medium/high heat. Add the scallops to the pan and cook for about a minute on each side.
2. Once cooked, remove the scallops from the pan and set aside. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and melt. Pour about a tablespoon of wine into the pan. Use a spoon to scrape off any tasty caramelised bits and mix in.
3. Put the scallops back in the pan to coat in the sauce.
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER PURÉE
1. Trim and chop the cauliflower into small florets. Put in a pan with the milk and vanilla paste and cover with a lid. Cook for around 10 minutes or until soft.
2. Drain the cauliflower, keeping the milk. Pop the cauli into a food processor with the butter and blitz. Add enough milk to make a smooth purée and add in the cream along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
FOR THE CABBAGE
1. Chop the bacon into small pieces, and finely slice the onion. Heat in a pan to crisp up the bacon and caramelise the onions.
2. Meanwhile, trim the cabbage and finely slice. Add to the pan with a drop of water. Cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes or until soft.
FOR THE SPINACH
1. Crush the garlic into a pan and add the spinach with a dash of water. Cover with a lid and allow to wilt for a few minutes. Drain in a sieve, squeezing out all the water.
Not gonna lie, this meal was really great even if I do say so myself. My mum and her boyfriend also really enjoyed it. Although they kind of have to say that. Anyway we are all rather full now, which is always a good sign. So I’m gonna call it a day with this first blog post because I think I need a lie down. And a Baileys. And probably a few Mini Eggs. It is Easter after all.
Laterz, Internet people,