As a Masterchef judge he's witnessed more kitchen disasters than most, but in 12 years judging more than 2,000 contestants, John Torode says there’s one dish no one can ever get right - scallops!
John's here to show us how to cook them perfectly, accompanied by creamy mash and crispy bacon.
8 large scallops (unwashed)
40ml vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp large capers, dried
Small handful of chopped parsley
Place a heavy based fry pan over a high heat, and leave until it starts to smoke, take the scallops and roll then on the vegetable oil and season with a little pepper and salt.
Gently place the scallops in the pan and do not move, shuffle or shake, add the remaining oil and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the scallops over once they have a golden colour and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Take the scallops from the pan and pat dry on a little kitchen paper.
Add the butter to the pan and when it starts to colour drop in the capers and the lemon juice and then a little chopped parsley.
Heat the mash and spoon on to 4 plates, place two scallops onto each plate and garnish with parsley butter, crisp bacon and lemon wedge.
1 Kilo of Desiree potatoes
20ml double cream
Freshly ground white pepper
You can't really make hard and fast rules about the ratio of liquid or butter to potato; you need to take a look at the texture of your cooked potato and feel your way.
If I am cooking, say, 1 kilo of potatoes - I like powdery red ones - I may well use about 100ml of milk and 25g butter, but I'll start with a little of each and add more, depending on how much the potato takes up.
I cook the potatoes first with a good half handful of Maldon salt, drain them, then put them back in the hot pan over a very low flame for a minute or so with a cloth over them to take up the excess moisture. Mash the potatoes with a fork and get rid of all lumps .
In a separate pan heat the milk cream and butter with a little white pepper and salt until it just simmers and turn off
Place the mash over a low flame and start adding the milk and butter mix and give a good beating. Keep adding the milk until you feel it is wet enough and not sloppy and the mixture becomes volcanic and starts erupting into bubbles.
Check the seasoning and serve
Crispy streaky bacon
12 rashers of quality streaky bacon, rind removed
10 ml vegetable oil
Put the oil and the bacon in a cold pan and put the pan over the heat and slowly cook the bacon so the fat starts to come out
Turn it a few times and when it is starting to go crispy take the pan off the heat and take the bacon out but leave the fat