Sheffield Cooks: A stunning starter of scallops

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This stunning seafood starter was created by the Silver Plate restaurant at Sheffield College, and features in the Sheffield Cookbook: Second Helpings.

The cookbook is on sale from all venues featured, Waterstone’s and Amazon.

Seared scallop, confit and purée of cauliflower, candied bacon and ribbon vegetables.
Serve one or one and a half scallops per portion for a starter. Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves four


4-6 scallops (1-11/2 scallops per portion)

Samphire (sea asparagus)

Carrot and courgette, cut into ribbons using a mandolin

Butter, to glaze

Salt and pepper

Blanched cauliflower leaves, to garnish

Salmon caviar, to serve (optional)

For the candied bacon:

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon

25ml maple syrup

For the cauliflower confit:

4 neatly sliced cross sections of cauliflower

100g salted butter

50ol water

For the cauliflower purée:

250g cauliflower florets, chopped

100ml double cream

1 clove garlic

100ml water

1 vegetable bouillon stock cube

For the onion rings:

Onion rings (as many as required, selected for size from centre of onion slice)

100ml cold milk

100g seasoned flour

Oil, for deep-frying


Start by preparing the candied bacon, cauliflower confit, cauliflower purée and onion rings. The scallops and vegetables can be prepared at the last minute before serving.

For the candied bacon pan-fry or grill the bacon rashers until nicely coloured.

Brush with the maple syrup and dry in an oven at 100°c until crispy and shiny. Remove and set aside.

For the cauliflower confit put the butter and water in a pan and carefully cook the cauliflower in the water and butter emulsion until just tender.

For the cauliflower puréeplace all the ingredients except the stock cube in a pan and cook until the cauliflower is tender and the double cream has thickened (the water is present to allow cooking time and will subsequently evaporate).

Process to a thick purée in a blender, correct the seasoning and consistency (with the veg stock and/or extra cream). Keep hot.

For the onion rings dip the onion rings in the cold milk, drain and dust with flour.

Heat the oil for deep-frying to 180°c and deep-fry the onion rings until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

To cook and serve the scallops and vegetables pick the most tender stems of samphire.

Cook the vegetables quickly until just pliable in a small non-stick pan with a knob of butter and a teaspoon of water. Season.

Seal the scallops in a hot pan until caramelised on both sides (taking care not to overcook and go rubbery) – they will take about one minute on each side.

Glaze with a little butter and season.

Plate up as shown in the picture andgarnish with small blanched cauliflower leaves and optional salmon caviar (keta).