Scallops and Asparagus on Potato Cake with Lemon Butter Sauce
The key to a good eating experience with scallops is to eat them as fresh as possible, as well as minimum cooking time in the pan. Seared in a scalding hot pan for 1 and a half minutes on both sides is all you need. Any more, the texture can become rubbery and the natural sweetness disappears.
A simple potato cake, pan fried in butter, makes for the perfect bed for asparagus and scallops and lemon butter - the easiest of sauces - is the perfect accompaniment.
Ingredients - Feeds 2
For the potato cakes:
2 large floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
12 Asparagus stalks, washed and trimmed
6 plump, fresh scallops
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp of fresh parsley and chives, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
1 - Put the potatoes into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Cook until soft, then drain thoroughly and mash in the pan until dry and smooth. Season and add a knob of butter. Shape into circles with your hands then fry with the olive oil and butter until crispy.
2 - While the potato cakes are cooking, cook the asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
3 - Heat a frying pan and add the butter and olive oil until smoking. Season the scallops then sear on both sides for 1 and a half minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.
4 - Pour the lemon juice into the scallop pan, then stir in the butter and finally the chopped herbs. Taste for seasoning.
5 - Arrange the potato cake on a plate with the asparagus and scallops on top, then drizzle the sauce over and around.