Hit the fish market early in the morning and get cracking on this fresh scallop masterpiece. #RecipeForLife
- 2 pickling onions, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- 1 whole bulb garlic
- 16 scallops in the shell
- 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
- 80 g (½ cup) rice flour
- sea salt, to taste
- pinch baharat
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 20 g butter
- 1 French shallot, finely diced
- ½ preserved lemon skin, finely diced
- 1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp red Aleppo pepper
White onion puree
- 1 kg white onions, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 100 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- sea salt, to taste
- 125 ml (½ cup) pure cream
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: overnight
Place the sliced pickling onions in a bowl, add the milk, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Meanwhile, for the white onion puree, place the onions, bay leaves and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring regularly, for 1-1½ hours or until the add onions are completely falling apart. Once the onions are soft, strain through a sieve, discard the bay leaves and reserve the cooking liquid. Place the cooked onions into a high speed blender add the cream and process for 5 minutes or until smooth, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Reheat gently just before serving.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the whole bulb of garlic on a small baking tray and roast for 30 minutes or until the garlic is soft and caramelised. Remove from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of the skins. Puree the garlic in a small food processor until a smooth puree forms.
Remove the scallops from the shells, trim off the heel, then scrub the shells clean for serving.
Drain the pickling onions well and discard the milk. Place the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over low heat until the temperature reaches 160°C. Place the rice flour, salt and baharat in a small bowl and stir to combine well. Dust the drained onions in the spiced flour, then gently fry in the hot oil until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and season with salt.
Just before serving, heat a drizzle of olive oil and the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Add the scallops and cook for 30 seconds on one side, then add the shallot, preserved lemon, spring onions and 1 tablespoon of the caramelised garlic puree. Toss to combine well, then add a pinch of red Aleppo pepper and season to taste.
To serve, spoon a dollop of warm white onion puree in each cleaned scallop shell. Place the scallops on top and spoon over some of the dressing from the pan. Top with the fried onions and serve immediately.