A special Foodie Friday as we have Valentines next week, an evening which allows everyone to spend a little extra on their evening meal if they, like us, will be dining in this year. I have been sent In The Mood for Entertaining by Jo Pratt to review and it is a fabulous collection of different menu suggestions for every kind of cooking moment, be it a Saturday night tete a tete, a Boy’s Night In or even Fine Dining. There is an amazing choice of recipes to choose from, so many it took me a fair while to nail it down to my final menu choice.
I have decided on Filet Steak for our main course which will be served with a black pepper sauce, Baked Salt Spiced Chips (p52) and Garlic and Mustard Seed Green Beans (p167) but today the recipe I am going to show you from Jo’s book is Seared Scallops with Smoky Leeks and Orange Butter, which I’ll serve as a delicious starter.
Seared Scallops with Smoky Leeks and Orange Butter
Ingredients for 6juice of 1 large orange 125ml chicken or fish stock 200g chilled butter cut into cubes, plus an extra knob for the scallops sea salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil 6 slices of smoky bacon cut into fine strips 1 large leek 18 large scallops with or without the roe (up to you)
- For the sauce, bring the orange juice to the boil in a small saucepan and reduce the quantity by a third. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then whisk in the butter, a little at a time until it thickens the sauce slightly. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm to one side.
- Heat a frying pan or wok with a drop of olive oil and cook the bacon pieces until they are golden and crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper
- Add the leek to the frying pan or wok and cook over a high heat until just tender, tossing it around in the pan and adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent it form burning at the edges. Return half of the bacon to the pan or wok and toss into the leek. The remaining bacon is to be used at the end.
- Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the scallops with a small knob of butter. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and season with salt
- To serve, place individual spoonfuls of smoky leeks on each plate and sit a scallop on top of the leeks. Scatter a few bacon pieces over the leeks and finally spoon around the orange butter sauce.
- Serve straight away
A quick and easy recipe to follow which also has a visually impressing result. The recipe is for 6 portions so I made a 1/3, my scallops cost £3.40 for 6 so for a ‘posh’ starter it doesn’t break the bank either. One word make sure you go for the largest scallops available as they do shrink on cooking.
If you have a delicious recipe to put forward for a special Valentine meal please add it to the linky below, I try to Tweet as many as possible throughout Friday and over the weekend