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Pan-fried Scallops on pea purée with crispy proscuitto

Red, white and green - Scallops with pea purée and crispy proscuitto

Red, white and green. These sweet scallops just pan-fried with a golden brown crust on the bright green pea purée topped with salty, red crispy proscuitto bits are a great Christmas starter or entree. The pea purée can be made ahead of time so it’s easy to assemble just before serving.

Prep time: 30 minutes cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:

Pea purée
2 small eschallots finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic finely sliced
2 cups frozen peas defrosted
1/2 cup chicken stock
50g butter or 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and finely crushed black pepper

Scallops
16-24 scallops (4-6 per person)
Olive oil spray

Proscuitto
4-6 slices very thin slices of proscuitto

Method
Pea purée
Heat butter or oil over medium heat
Add eschallots and garlic and sauté gently until soft and transparent
Add defrosted peas and chicken stock, bring to gentle simmer
Cook for maximum 5-7 minutes until peas are tender but still bright green
Add salt and pepper to taste
Process with stick blender or in food processor until purée forms
Pass through a sieve to remove husks, leaving smooth creamy and bright green purée

Proscuitto
Put proscuitto in non-stick frying pan and bring up to medium heat to allow fat to render slowly
Fry for 10 minutes or so until proscuitto is really crispy turning up heat slightly if needed but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn

Scallops
Pat dry each scallop with paper towel
Heat a non-stick pan on high heat, then turn down heat slightly, spray very lightly with olive oil if necessary to ensure non-stick
Add scallops to pan in 2-3 batches
Pan fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden crust forms and scallops are cooked. If too much liquid comes out of scallops, remove scallops from pan, clean pan and then add scallops back to achieve golden colour

Assembly
Spoon 2 tablespoons pea purée on individual plates
Spread purée with a spoon to form a “strip” on which to place scallops
Place 4-6 scallops on purée
Scatter with crispy proscuitto bits
Serve with a crisp white wine

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