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A Taste of Summer with Scallops

By Colin Milne

Summer is just around the corner…and it’s my favourite time of the year. While you might think that it’s because of the longer, lighter nights or the warmer weather – or the chance to enjoy a cold pint at the end of a long shift in a hot kitchen – what I most love about summer is the great seasonal produce.

As a chef, it is an absolute privilege to be able to work with fantastic ingredients that are available right here on our doorstep. Aberdeenshire has some of the finest produce that you will find anywhere in the UK – and in some cases anywhere in the world.

From berries to seafood, there’s a reason why this place is known as Scotland’s larder. We’ve recently introduced our summer menu here at The Ship Inn, and while it includes eternal favourites, we’ve also introduced fresh new flavours. You should come down and check it out!

One of my favourite summer dishes – particularly because of my love of cooking with fish and shellfish – is scallops and chorizo with asparagus velouté. This dish has everything! The fire of the chorizo kicks in after the saltiness of the scallops, but asparagus gives it a mellow, cooling finish.

One mistake that many people make when cooking scallops is to use a little too much oil. My top tip is to always sear scallops in a dry pan – but adding a small knob of butter towards the end will give them a lovely golden colour.

Why not give it a try in your own kitchen? I promise you there is not a simpler or easier dish to make! Sadly, it’s not on our summer menu…but if you pay us a visit in the next few months, you may well be lucky enough to see it on the specials board!

Scallops and Chorizo on Asparagus Veloute


Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1kg of scallops
  • 2 chorizo sausages
  • 1 bunch or 2lbs of asparagus
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 2 leeks (white parts only, cleaned and sliced)




Method

  1. Remove and discard about ½ inch of the bottom stem of asparagus.
  2. Slice asparagus stems into 3 pieces.
  3. In a large sauce pan heat oil on low temperature, add leeks and cook until soft.
  4. Add stock and bring to boil. Add asparagus stems and cook for four or five minutes until tender.
  5. Remove from the heat and puree using a blender. Season to taste.
  6. Place a frying pan over a high heat and dry fry scallops. Just before they are cooked through, add a knob of butter and finish frying off.
  7. Slice the chorizo and fry off until it starts to go brown.
  8. Pour the velouté into a bowl and serve four seared scallops each, with four slices of chorizo on top.
  9. Garnish with microherbs.



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