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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pan Roasted Scallops with Crispy Potatoes, Asparagus and Anchovy Butter

It's one of my favourite 'foody' times of year, scallop season. They are fat, plentiful and relatively cheap at the moment and we go through dozens of them. This recipe is taken from the September edition of Listener magazine and serves 4.

20 asparagus spears
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter or olive oil
12 gourmet potatoes, cooked and cut into 5mm thick slices
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
24-30 scallops depending on the size
The juice of a lemon
3 tablespoons of anchovy butter
2 teaspoons of finely chopped chives

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and plunge in the asparagus. Cook until just tender-a maximum of 3 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the water, drain on a wet tea towel and the roll it up to keep the asparagus warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in large frying pan and cook the potatoes until crisp. Season lightly with salt and pepper, drain on absorbent kitchen towel and keep warm.
Wipe the frying pan clean and return it to the heat. Put the scallops in a bowl and mix with the remaining melted butter until they are well coated. Carefully add the scallops to the hot pan and cook until just golden. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice then remove from the pan and lower the heat. Add the anchovy butter to the pan and let it melt slowly while stirring through the pan juices. Place a small pile of potatoes in the center of each plate and lay five asparagus spears on top. Divide the scallops between the plates and pour anchovy butter over each stack. Sprinkle with chives (we omitted this part of the recipe, I'm not a huge fan of chive garnish). Yum.

Anchovy Butter
300g of unsalted butter, softened
5 anchovies
The juice of a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Puree the ingredients without the pepper until smooth. Season with pepper, place the butter on a piece of greaseproof paper and roll into a log shape. Refrigerate until ready to use. Will keep for many months in the freezer.


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