Pierre Koffmann’s scallops with squid ink sauce
- September 2021
- Serves 6 as a starter
- Hands-on time 20 min
Legendary chef Pierre Koffmann shares his recipe for a starter of sustainable scallops. Serve with squid ink sauce and creamy cauliflower puree.
Want to cook like a pro? Pierre Koffmann’s Classic French Cooking BBC Maestro course is available from 1 September 2021. All online courses cost £80 each. Find out more here
- 18.5g (11g saturated)
- 6.1g (4.7g sugars)
- 18 sustainable scallops, roe removed, halved if large
- Knob of unsalted butter
- Baby/micro herbs to serve (optional)
For the cauliflower purée
- 1 small cauliflower, stalk and florets roughly chopped
- 15g butter
- 100-150ml whipping cream
For the squid ink sauce
- 50ml dry French vermouth
- 100ml whipping cream
- 50g shallots, finely chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- 1-2 tsp squid or cuttlefish ink (widely available online)
For the red pepper sauce
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 100ml whipping cream
You’ll also need
- Stick blender
- For the cauliflower purée, put the chopped cauliflower stalks, florets and butter in a small pan. Add enough cream to come halfway up the cauliflower. Season with salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook until just tender (about 20 minutes). Whizz with a stick blender until smooth; set aside (see Make Ahead).
- To make the squid ink sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small pan and cook over a medium heat until reduced by half. Season with salt, then whizz with a stick blender until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside (see Make Ahead).
- For the pepper sauce, put the red pepper and cream in a small pan and cook over a medium heat until the cream has reduced by half (about 4 tbsp). Season, then whizz with a stick blender until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve (see Make Ahead).
- Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan over a high heat. Pat the scallops dry, then pan-fry briefly on both sides until golden (see Pierre’s scallop tips).
- To serve, gently warm the sauces, then add a dollop of cauliflower purée and a drizzle of squid ink sauce to each plate. Arrange the scallops on top, then add a little of the red pepper sauce. Garnish with herbs if you like, then serve.
Pierre’s scallop tips: The pan is hot enough to add the scallops when the butter starts foaming.
The scallops are cooked when golden on both sides and just warm in the middle – about 1½ minutes on each side for fat scallops. It’s vital not to overcook them or they’ll be rubbery – press the top and they should still have some give.
While cooking the scallops, dress warm plates with the sauces, ready to serve the scallops the moment they’re done.
You can make the purée/ sauces up to 2 hours ahead. Cool, cover and set aside. Reheat gently, stirring, then fry the scallops.
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