Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Recipes

Recipe: Scallops with asparagus tips and vanilla hollandaise

Here’s a fabulous feast that’s sure to put your other half in the mood for Valentine’s love

What you'll need

Knob of butter

½ tbsp olive oil

100g pancetta, cubed

½ small fennel, very thinly sliced

16 asparagus tips

12 scallops

For the hollandaise

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp water

1 bay leaf

8 peppercorns

3 free-range egg yolks

160g unsalted butter (must be at room |temperature), cubed

1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste

To make the hollandaise, put the vinegar, water, bay leaf and peppercorns into a pan and simmer gently until reduced to about one tablespoon, strain and add one tablespoon of water to it. Transfer to a glass bowl.

Whisk in the yolks and vanilla. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.

Add a knob of butter, whisking until melted and the mixture has thickened slightly. Gradually add the remaining 150g butter a cube at a time, whisking after each addition until it’s all incorporated. Cook for a further one to two minutes, until smooth and thickened. Be careful not to overheat, and add seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat and keep warm while you cook the scallops.

Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan, add the pancetta and fry over a medium heat for two to three minutes until it begins to release some fat. When golden and crisp, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Then drain off the fat, add ½ tbsp olive oil and add the asparagus and fennel to the pan. Fry for one to two minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a separate frying pan, heat half the olive oil with a small knob of butter, when hot add the scallops and sear for 30 seconds — one minute on each side, depending on their size. Return the pancetta to the pan with the veg. Divide this between four starter plates and serve with scallops on top with the vanilla hollandaise drizzled over.

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