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SEARED SCALLOPS WITH CRUSHED PEAS AND PANCETTA SAUCE Geoff Smeddle from Peat Inn

kindly supplied by Geoff Smeddle from Peat Inn

Ingredients
Serves 4

12 medium sized scallops removed from their shell and cleaned
800g fresh peas shelled from the pod or the same weight of frozen petits pois.
40-50g unsalted French butter

for the sauce

8 slices of pancetta
30g unsalted butter
2 banana shallots
1 sprig each of thyme and rosemary
175 ml dry white wine
175 ml Noilly Prat vermouth
300ml chicken stock
300ml whipping cream

METHOD

  1. Start by making the sauce: Finely chop 6 slices of the pancetta. Leave the other two slices for later. Heat a medium sized saucepan and add a light film of olive oil. Fry the pancetta at a medium high temperature until golden brown, then reduce the heat. Add the butter and allow it to foam. Finely chop the shallots then add them with the thyme and rosemary to the same pan. Continue cooking so they soften and take on a little golden brown colour.
  2. Once golden brown, add the wine and vermouth, bring to a simmer and reduce by three quarters. Add the chicken stock and allow to simmer and reduce as well, also by three quarters. Add the cream and bring to a simmer, taking care not to let it boil over. Once it has come to a simmer, remove from the heat and cover tightly with cling film. Leave to cool and infuse. Once cold, pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan and set aside for later.
  3. Prepare the bacon chips: lay out the rest of the pancetta on a non stick baking sheet then cover with another flat baking sheet. Cook in the oven at 190C for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and stiff. Remove onto absorbent kitchen paper to drain.
  4. For the pea puree, take 300g of the peas and blanch in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, reserving the water and transfer the peas to the jug of a blender. Add 20g of butter and a couple of spoonfuls of the reserved water. Puree thoroughly until totally smooth adding more of the reserved cooking water if required. Set aside until later.
  5. To finish and serve: bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Heat a non stick frying pan and add enough olive oil to create a light film across the bottom. Season the scallops lightly on both sides with salt then place face down in the pan. Cook for two minutes on the first side until golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the remaining peas in the boiling water for two minutes then drain and place in a warm saucepan with the rest of the butter. Crush them with a fork and taste for seasoning.
  7. Now turn the scallops on their other side, add a small piece of butter to the pan and a squeeze of lemon juice then remove the pan from the heat altogether. Let stand for one minute. During this time rewarm the sauce and the pea puree.
  8. To finish,. Drag a line of pea puree across the top and bottom of the plate and spoon the crushed peas in the centre. Arrange three scallops per plate on the crushed peas. Break some of the bacon crisps over the scallops then foam up the sauce with a hand blender before spooning over the scallops and around the plate. Eat at once.

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