Porcini dusted scallops

Karljohansvamp beströdda pilgrimsmusslor

Porcini dusted scallops

Swedes frequently combine mushrooms and fish, but this is a more unusual combination which works wonderfully and is sure to excite the palate and whet the appetite for the main course.

Porcini mushrooms are usually called karljohansvamp in Sweden and cèpes in France. Although you may find it hard to find karljohansvamp in the UK or the States you will find many supermarkets and Italian stores stock dried porcini mushrooms. Indeed many packets of dried porcini sold in Sweden have actually been imported from Italy and relabelled as karjohansvamp!

Dried porcini mushrooms are well worth keeping in your store cupboard. They can be used in so many dishes and are especially good for adding depth and an earthy taste to stocks. Chris Brookes

Summary

Ingredients

½   cauliflower, including the leaves
2 tbsp   butter
4 tbsp   milk
    salt and ground white pepper to taste
12   scallops
10 g (1/3 oz) dried porcini mushrooms (also called cèpes and karljohansvamp)
    small sprigs of flat leaf parsley

Method

1. Pick off some of the best looking inner leaves and finely chop until you end up with about 4 tablespoons of chopped leaves.

2. Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds or so until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside to cool.

3. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Place in a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon of butter, 4 tablespoons of milk. Heat to simmering point and then cover with cling film (food wrap) or a heavy lid. Cook on a low heat for 10 –15 minutes, until tender enough to puree.

4. Drain off most of the liquid and then puree until silky smooth. Add salt and white pepper to taste, then set aside to cool.

5. Grind up the dried porcini into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. (Don’t make more powder than you will need as it will quickly lose its flavour.)

6. Sprinkle a generous amount over both sides of the scallops.

7. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a frying pan until hot without burning the butter. Pan fry the scallops for approximately 30-60 seconds each side until golden brown.

8. Dollop 3 teaspoons of cauliflower puree on each plate, cover with the thinly sliced cauliflower leaves and place the scallops on top. Garnish with parsley.

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