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John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen

Scallops and crispy bacon with a cool as a cucumber cocktail

John and Lisa are preparing the perfect meal for a special night in.

They start with scallops served with crispy bacon and a cauliflower puree; before moving onto truffle butter stuffed roast chicken.

On the side are Lisa’s simply delicious dauphinoise potatoes and some charred cabbage.

And there’s a dessert worth taking your time over - a chocolate and almond tart with amaretti biscuits.

Scallops and crispy bacon with a cool as a cucumber cocktail

Serves 2

Ingredients

Scallop Ingredients

6 rashers good quality streaky bacon, rind removed

Vegetable oil

6 large scallops (unwashed)

Salt and Pepper 

40g Butter

Juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp large capers, dried 

Small handful of chopped parsley 

Lemon wedges to serve

Cauliflower purée ingredients

250g cauliflower, florets cut into small pieces

250ml milk

Splash olive oil

A generous pinch of white pepper

For the cocktail (makes 1)

3 large slices cucumber, plus extra to garnish

3 large mint leaves

50ml gin

25ml fresh lime juice

20ml sugar syrup

Ice


Method

Crispy bacon and scallop

1. Lay the bacon in an even layer into a cold frying pan then set it over a medium heat. Cook the bacon slowly to render the fat out, turning occasionally until crisp. Once cooked, remove the bacon from the pan with tongs, set aside and leave the bacon fat in the pan for the scallops to cook in.

2. Prepare your scallops by gently removing the connective tissue, frilly membrane (and roe if preferred) by hand. Lightly oil the scallops and season with salt and pepper on one side. Gently place the scallops in the same pan that was used for the bacon, seasoned side down. Cook for two minutes being careful not to move, shuffle or shake them. Once the scallops have turned a golden colour, add a drizzle of oil into the pan and turn them over and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the scallops and then remove them from the pan to rest for a few minutes on a plate.

3. Whilst the scallops rest, add the butter, capers and chopped fresh parsley to the pan and cook to form a sauce in the residual heat. Once ready, add the scallops back into the pan and toss in the freshly made sauce.

Cauliflower puree

1. Add the cauliflower into a saucepan with the milk, a pinch of salt and a good pinch of white pepper, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook gently for around 10 minutes (or until the cauliflower is soft). Drain the cauliflower, reserving the milk in a separate jug. Add your olive oil to the cauliflower and start to blend with a stick blender. Add the cauliflower back into the milk and continue to blend it together until it forms into a smooth purée.

Serving

1. Add a generous spoonful of the cauliflower purée onto each plate, top with three scallops, some crispy bacon rashers and garnish with the parsley butter and a lemon wedge.Cucumber cocktail

1. For the cocktail, muddle the cucumber slices and mint leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients, fill with ice then shake vigorously. Fine strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a slice of cucumber (add tonic water if preferred).

2. For an alternative option, swap your sugar syrup for some ginger infused honey and muddle with lemon rind instead of cucumber.

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John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen