Serves 4 (as an entree)
Prep time | 15 minutes
Cooking time | 15 minutes
This seems a little bit fancy, but it’s quite an easy starter for a dinner party. The celeriac puree can be made in advance, and the speck cooked off, then it only takes a minute to finish the scallops right before you serve them.
The secret to really well cooked scallops is to dry them, to have a nice hot pan, and not to overcrowd the pan.
• 1 medium sized celeriac bulb, peeled and grated or processed into small pieces
• 1 cup milk
• 50g butter
• 100g smoked speck, skin off – cut into batons
• 12 scallops
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1. Into a medium saucepan over medium heat, place the celeriac and add enough milk to cover. Simmer for around 10 minutes or until tender enough to squash between your fingers.
2. Add half the butter and a pinch of salt and puree to a smooth consistency. Taste and add more salt if required. Keep warm.
3. In a non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat, sauté the speck until the fat is rendered and it is crispy and golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel. Wipe some of the fat out of the pan, but leave a couple of tablespoonfuls in.
4. To the bacon fat add a little butter. When the butter is foaming and starting to brown, add the scallops (they may need to be cooked in batches depending on how big your frying pan is). Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on the first side, then flip and cook for only 20 or so more seconds.
5. To serve, put a circle of puree on a warmed dinner plate. Top with three scallops and scatter with speck batons and chives.