Good Friday Scallops

Named after one of the legendary Good Friday sessions when the whole crew agreed these were the business. Even the sceptics.

To feed 4 you will need

12 scallops

around 6 in’s of the best plack pudding you can find. Annascaul black is the perfect really.

a fistful of frozen peas

half an onion

1 ounce of butter plus a few knobs

good seville orange marmalade (homemade if possible, my ma does some killer stuff)

watercress if you can find it mustard greens or nothing if not.

2 pots, a frying pan, a blender, a sieve, some kitchen towel, serving plates and a warm oven.

The key to this dish is preparation. Get your order right and serving will be a breeze. Get it wrong and your goosed.

Right here we go. In the  larger pot, melt a small know of butter and add in finely diced onion. Season with salt (no pepper). Sweat on a low heat until soft. Throw in you peas and cook until tender. Put the whole lot in a blender and blitz until smooth. Clean the cooking pot well. Taste pea puree, add 1 ounce of butter and stir through. Taste again, adjust salt if necessary. Pass through a sieve back into the pot you used to cook. Clean sieve. Set peas aside.

Melt about 2 tablespoons of marmalade in the smaller pot. When running freely pass marmalade though a sieve into a bowl and set aside.

Take out your raw scallops and pat dry. Slice your black pudding so that you have one small slice of pudding for each scallop, 12 slice in all.

Heat your frying pan. Add some butter and allow to melt. Place your scallops in a circle around the pan. Cook for about 1-2 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Baste with butter frequently. When cooked place scallops on some kitchen towel and leave in a warm oven. Clean your pan.

Fry off slices of pudding until a slight crust forms. When pudding is cooked remove from heat.

Remove your serving plates from the oven and place out in front of you. Plates should be just warm and not hot. All ingredients should still be warm. Spoon a dessertspoon of pea puree into the centre of the plate and spread out to the size of a beer matt. Place 3 pieces of pudding on top in a circle with each piece overlapping the last. Top with 3 scallops. Using a small spoon drizzle seville orange marmalade over the scallops and top the whole lot with some watercress. Serve immediately.

Even the most hardcore cynic will love these. Try the dish a few times to get the balance right. There should be just the right balance of sweet, salt, fat, and tartness. A tiny squeeze of lemon can work wonders.

Best served on Good Friday just as the session is building.

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Pear(ly) Legal

Bleedin delish pear dessert for your delictation.

You will need 6 good conference pears, about a half pint of bitter apple juice, a little honey, chamomile tea, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod, a small know of butter. Peel, half, and core your pears. Put apple juice and honey into a saute pan and heat. Place pears flat side down in the pan with the thin end facing in. Place cinnamon stick and a cm pice of the vanilla pod in the centre with the camomile tea bag. Cover gently with a plate and put over a low heat. As liquid begins to heat and honey to melt give the pears a nudge to make sure they’re not sticking. Baste pears with a little of the juice. They should steam away safely for a few minutes. When liquid has reduced to about 2 tablespoonfulls and the pears feel soft but still hold their shape, remove cinnamon stick, piece of vanilla pod, and tea bag, and drop in your knob of butter. Mix well with the remaining liquid and coat the pears. Either serve as they are or if you are a little more daring, increase the heat and allow pears to caramelize making sure they do not stick and liquid does not burn.

These pears are great served as is or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of muscavodo sugar mixed with a little sea salt. Get it in ye.

Something Purple

There are few things green and edible that are more enjoyable than purple sprouting broccoli. Mmmm hmmm! First and foremost it lets us know the end of the dark months is approaching and it’s nearly time for the summer food bounty. At the Whole Hog we use all of the broccoli. Stalks an all.

I am going to give a basic recipe that is open to manipulation depending upon your tastes. First gather good pasta (tagliatelle works well here), a small piece of pancetta or good dry cured lardons, a good load of purple sprouting broccoli, about 30 stalks in all, 2 small strong onions finely chopped, 3 cloves of garlic crushed, mustard, parmesan, a lemon, and some fresh cream

In a large saute pan cook pancetta over a gentle heat allowing the fat to render, but not burn. Once the pancetta is crispy throw in your onions to soften over a gentle heat. While they are cooking remove all the head of the broccoli from the stalks and set aside.

Finely chop the stalks and add to the now softened onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until stalks are soft, checking occasionally and stirring. Add some cream and a good dessertspoon of mustard. Simmer gently

Meanwhile bring some salted water to the boil and add your pasta. When your pasta is just below al dente, add the broccoli heads, and allow cook for no more than one minute. Strain the liquid, making sure to reserve some in a cup for later (it should be a deep unappetising green).

Add pasta and broccoli heads to pancetta, onion, garlic, and broccoli stalks, forking the pasta gently so as to coat it all but not break any. Add some of the reserved pasta and broccoli water to thin slightly. Allow mixture to cook for 30 seconds and stir though some freshly grated parmesan (or even better get your hands on some of Bill Hogan’s Desmond cheese). Finish with a good squeeze of lemon juice to bring up the flavour

Serve Immediately. Mmmmm

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