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Pan Roasted Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Black Pepper Oil and Sherry Caramel

Serves 4, takes 30 minutes 

An impressive, tasty, sophisticated starter, which is worthy of a rather good restaurant. You’ll be making way more Black Pepper Oil and Sherry Caramel than you’ll need, but they both keep well in the fridge. We keep the caramel in a little glass dressing jar, so we can dip it in a bowl of boiling water before using it 

8 large scallops 

1 tbsp Cauliflower Puree per person 

Black Pepper Oil:- 
100ml light olive oil or light vegetable oil 
30 black peppercorns, crushed 
1 sprig of thyme 

Sherry Caramel:- 
250g caster sugar 
100ml dry sherry 

  • Black Pepper Oil:- 
  • Warm all the ingredients very gently in a pan for 30 minutes. Do not allow to boil 
  • Sherry Caramel:- 
  • Gently heat the sugar and vinegar together in a thick bottomed pan until the sugar is dissolved. Then turn up the heat, and boil rapidly until they form a light caramel – about 3 or 4 minutes. Carefully stir in the sherry and allow to cool 
  • The scallops:- 
  • Heat a frying pan till is it very hot, then add some oil, and when that is hot, add the scallops. Fry them on one side for 2 minutes, then turn them over and fry the other side for about 30 seconds. 
  • To serve:- 
  • Make a puddle of Cauliflower Puree on the centre of  each plate, and place 2 scallops on top. Trickle a teaspoon or so of pepper oil around it, then the same amount of caramel over and around the oil. Serve immediately – if you’re having it as a main course, serve a green side salad and some steamed baby new potatoes with it