Head Chef at The Duke of Richmond Hotel, shares the delicious recipe, a perfect dish for either a starter or a main course. The dish can be made using the roe as well as the scallop meat – it is really down to personal preference. Speak to your local fish monger or the fresh fish market section in your local supermarket. Most of them can provide you with scallops that are already prepared and or trimmed. You would need about 4-5 scallops per person for a starter portion or 8 -10 scallops for a main course portion.
Handful of Thyme
Handful of Rosemary
Vanilla infused apple puree
2 peeled and pitted Bramley apples cut up into small chunks
40 grams of unsalted butter
20 grams of castor sugar
Juice and zest from ½ a lemon
½ vanilla pod
Start by preparing the polenta cubes first as they need time to set properly. Polenta is widely available from many supermarkets. Calculate 50 – 60 grams per person for a starter and 100 – 120 grams for a main course portion. Follow the instructions on the pack to prepare the polenta. To elevate your polenta and to give it a rich flavour, use a combination of garlic, thyme and rosemary infused milk and water instead of just water.
It is vital to add the polenta very slowly to the fluid, stirring constantly, or it will end up lumpy and straining it through your fingers is the most efficient way of doing this.
Allowing it to thicken before you turn the heat down is also important to avoid the polenta staying stubbornly sloppy, despite long cooking. For additional zing in your dish you could add the zest of ½ a lemon to the polenta whilst stirring.
After the polenta has reached a firm texture and all the cornmeal is cooked through, remove from the heat and spread it out in equal measure on a serving tray, creating a square of polenta. Leave to cool down for a few minutes and cut into cubes of about 3cm x 3cm. Place these cubes covered in the fridge to further set for a good couple of hours.
Vanilla infused apple puree
Combine the ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes or until the apples are soft and the sugar and butter have melted. Remove and blend to a fine puree in a food processor, putting aside to serve at the last minute.
Remove your polenta cubes from the fridge and apply a dry coating of polenta or plain white flour to the cubes before shallow frying on all sides until they’re crispy and golden brown.
Pre-heat a non-stick pan to a very high heat, adding a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Sear your seasoned scallops for about 1 ½ minute on either side ensuring a good cooking color. Be careful not to overcook them as they will become rubbery.
Start by placing your polenta cubes along the center of an oblong plate, placing the scallops on top of each cube. Finish off by drizzling with the puree around the plate. Finish off a sprig of fresh parsley.