Scallops, pea puree and sweet potato crisps

Masterchef is about to start a new series so in homage to the show I cooked up a dish that always seems to make an appearance on some contestant’s plate, scallops with pea purée. I could have just served them with peas and mash but I’m quite conscious that I’ve blogged a lot of dishes served with peas and mash recently!

I was almost foiled at the start with this one after a visit to the fishmongers who didn’t have any scallops. They’re normally so reliable as well, guess they can only sell what’s been landed really and there was a distinct lack of any shellfish in the shop yesterday. I’d made my mind up that scallops were the order of the day so I left empty-handed and made for Morrisons’ fish counter instead.

The fish counter at Morrisons is undoubtedly the best of the major supermarkets but it’s offerings are still poor compared to the fishmonger. However, they had scallops and I was in the market for some. They may have been smaller than the normal ones and the assistant didn’t even know what the roe was but they were in my hand on the way home.

All scallops need is a couple of minutes in a hot pan either side. That’s it. I also threw the roe in the pan as an extra treat. For the pea purée I cooked a load of peas as normal then whizzed them in a blender with some salt, parsley and lemon juice. I’d like to have used a little butter but that’s still not possible in our house (soon though!).

Finally I served up some sweet potato crisps. Slices of sweet potato drizzled in olive oil and salt then roasted in the oven for 40 minutes, turning occasionally. They probably should have been a bit thinner but I wasn’t looking for them to be crispy all the way through.

To be frank, I love scallops. This dish was onto a winner as soon as I decided the main ingredient. The sweet pea purée with the lemon juice really worked well with it and I can see why it’s such a popular combination for budding masterchefs. I’m not sure if it needed another sweet ingredient on the plate but the sweet potatoes roasted in olive oil were delicious regardless so who cares?

Serves 2

6 large scallops (or medium ones if you can only get to Morrisons…)
2 sweet potatoes
Frozen peas
Parsley, chopped
1 lemon
Olive oil

Cut the potatoes into thin slices, coat them in olive oil and place in a roasting tray.
Sprinkle over a large amount of sea salt and stick the tray in a pre-heated oven at 200 deg C for 40 minutes.
Turn the potatoes over every 10 minutes.
Boil the peas for about 4 minutes, drain and place in a food blender along with a little bit of parsley, a sprinkle of salt and the juice from half a lemon.
Whizz it up into a paste.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the scallops for 2 minutes either side then serve on top of the puree and surrounded by the sweet potato crisps.

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