Caramalised Scallops and a Caramalised Shallot Puree with Spring Greens
Jessica's Spring Scallops are perfect for the warmer months, with its fresh intensity and beautiful golden sear.
Recipe by: Jessica Hall - Contestant
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- For the Tarragon Oil, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil and prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl.
- Blanch the tarragon and parsley leaves until vibrant green, about 20-30 seconds. Immediately remove from the water and submerge into an ice bath. Once cold, remove from the ice bath, wrap in paper towel and squeeze out as much water as possible.
- Place the blanched herbs, grapeseed oil and lemon juice into a blender and blend for 1 minute on high. Pour through a sieve lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside to allow oil to strain through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then transfer the oil to a squeeze bottle and place into the fridge.
- For the Prosciutto Crumb, line a small tray with baking paper. Brush the prosciutto with olive oil and place onto the prepared tray. Place a second layer of baking paper on top and weigh down with a second tray. Place into the oven and bake until dark golden in colour, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Tear the prosciutto into pieces and place into a blender and pulse to a fine crumb. Set aside.
- For the Asparagus Curls, blanch the asparagus in simmering water until vibrant green, about 20-30 seconds. Remove from the water and plunge into an ice bath. Once cold, remove from water and pat dry. Reserve water over the heat.
- Using a vegetable peeler and starting just under the asparagus head, peel 10 thin strips from each stem.
- Starting with the widest end, curl each strip around your index finger and carefully slide off. Repeat until you have 20 curls. Place onto paper towel and set aside at room temperature.
- For the Fresh Garden Peas, shell peas and blanch in boiling water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the water and place into the ice bath until cold. Drain the peas and set aside.
- For the Caramelised Shallot Puree, heat a medium saucepan over a medium high heat. Add butter and once melted, add the shallots. Cook, stirring regularly, until shallots have softened and are caramelised, about 10 minutes.
- Slowly pour in the double cream and reduce the heat to medium. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the shallots and cream to a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Pass through a fine sieve then season with salt and white pepper. Cover and set aside.
- For the Caramelised Fennel, trim the top and base from the fennel bulb. Remove any damaged layers and using the thickest layers, chop into cubes measuring roughly 2cm x 2cm. Toss fennel cubes in caster sugar, then remove any excess. Set aside.
- Heat a medium frypan on a medium high heat. Add grapeseed oil and when hot, add fennel and cook, stirring, until fennel is cooked through and is well caramelised.
- Remove the frypan from the heat and season the fennel with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- For the Pan Seared Scallops, place a large frypan over high heat. Dry scallops with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Add oil to the pan and when very hot, add half of the scallops to the pan and cook without moving them to allow a crust to form, about 2 minutes. Turn scallops over and cook until just cooked through and the internal temperature of the scallops reaches 55C.
- Remove scallops from pan and place onto paper towel. Repeat with remaining scallops.
- Spoon the Caramelised Shallot Puree in a ring around the centre of each plate. Place 5 Pan Seared Scallops around the puree and then arrange the Caramelised Fennel, Prosciutto Crumb, Fresh Peas and Asparagus Curls around the scallops. Finish the plates with pea shoot tendrils and some drops of Tarragon Herb Oil just before serving.
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