Dad has a couple of mates who fish well, and fish often, so we are regularly spoilt with fresh, local fish, crabs, oysters and, just this weekend, scallops! Beautiful, fresh, and although quite small, delicately sweet, Queensland sea scallops.
We didn’t get many so I did think of just throwing them in with my crab linguine, but then I thought… these sweet little scallops needed to be enjoyed on their own. As the star. It would be our entree.
Scallops and cauliflower puree have always been a great combo, but to this dish I added fried smoked sourdough and almond crumb and pickled red grapes. Really good!
- 16 scallops, roe off
- ½ head cauliflower
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ¼ thickened cream
- ½ loaf of stale sourdough, crusts removed
- ¼ cup almond meal
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 golf ball sized pieces hickory wood
- Pickled Grapes
- 4 vines of small red, seedless grapes, about 6 – 8 grapes on each
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup white sugar
- Pinch of salt
- First, get onto your grapes. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and pinch of salt in a small sauce pan and bring to boil. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Place the grape vines in a wide jar, pour over the brine and leave to sit until cool. PS. These grapes keep for about a week in the fridge and are great with cheese plates.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets, place in a pot with chicken stock and then add water until the florets are covered with liquid. Cook until tender. Drain and place in a food processor with the cream and blitz until smooth. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
- For the crumb, first put your Weber or covered BBQ or smoked on and get the hickory wood starting to smoke. Place the bread in a food process. Blitz until a crumb. In a frypan, place the bread crumbs, almond meal, butter and oil. Over a medium high heat, fry until golden and crisp. Drain crumbs on a paper towel briefly and then spread out onto a tray, season well with salt. Place tray of crumbs in the BBQ or smoker and let it smoke for about 5 – 10 minutes. Depending on how much smoke you have. You don’t want your crumb super smoked, just a subtle smokiness that will add a dimension to the dish, not overpower the sweet delicate scallops.
- Once the crumbs are done, get a frypan and get it screaming hot. Pat the scallops dry with paper towel. Drizzle the pan with a little olive oil and cook for about 30 seconds – 1 minute on each side, depending on their size. Once brown on each side, sprinkle with a little salt and serve immediately.
- To plate up, dollop and smear a good heaped tablespoon of the cauliflower cream onto a plate, then place a tablespoon of crumb next to it, place the vine of grapes on top of that. Place 4 scallops per person on top of the cauliflower. Serve. Such a yummy way to start a meal.