Friday, 14 March 2014

' tea smoked SEA SCALLOP with WAKAME SALAD .'

Tea smoked Wild caught Sea Scallop with Wakame salad , Compressed Asian pear & sake , Pickled Baby Bitter melon , Water cress , Black garlic puree & wild rocket flowers .

                     With this dish I've used some Asian inspired ingredients to lift and accompany this succulent wild caught off the coastlines of the US sea scallop. I chose to cold smoke the mollusc using a tea smoking boat with the scallop on a rack over a bowl of ice to keep the temps down. Bitter melon plants went in late for me this year and are just coming on now with my 3 vines producing plenty. When small these melons are very concentrated and bitter but when pickled with vinegar, sugar and salt, this mellows and almost tastes like a cross between gherkins and capers.
                     To make this dish I first started with the compressed nashi fruit, for this technique I used the vacuum food saver sealer . Cutting the pear into brunoise, I placed them in a bowl and covered them with sake. After 5 or so minutes I drained the diced pear and placed them and a little frozen pear juice in to a food grade plastic pouch and vacuum sealed twice. This was left to compress and burst the cell walls of the fruit and release extra flavour while marinating in the sake, for about half an hour or so. In the mean time I made the wakame salad by simply mixing in a bowl wakame seaweed, sesame seeds, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, sake, chilli flakes and a little salt this was then chilled until plating. To pickle the bitter melons I placed equal parts of water and rice wine vinegar, enough to cover the melons in a saucepan on a medium heat together with some sugar and salt. This was brought to a slow simmer for about 15 minutes until the melons were soft and tender to touch. I then drained them before plunging into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process, these were then drained and chilled for serving. After the half an hour was up I removed the asian pear pieces from the vacuum packaging, rinsed them quickly under cold water and dressed them in olive oil and black sea salt. The black garlic puree is just simply mashed black garlic piped through a plunger. The final component was the sea scallop of which I first seared very quickly on a hot skillet before rubbing in salt and brown sugar. In a foil boat I placed a mixture of some jasmine rice, jasmine tea leaves, brown sugar, black pepper corns and orange peel zest. This was placed into the smoker and was the vessel was filled and the boat was smouldering, I turned the flame off waited a little and with the scallop on a rack above a bowl of ice, I placed the bowl in to the smoker and cold smoked the scallop until fully cooked before removing from the smoker ready for plating.
            To plate I placed the smoked scallop on top of a bed of home grown water cress, this was topped with some wakame salad, a little black garlic puree, micro bitter melon and an edible wild rocket flower. I arranged the compressed asian pear pieces, wakame salad and pickled bitter melon with the black garlic puree and edible flowers to accompany.


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