Monday 4 April 2011

Seared Scallops Wrapped in Pancetta on a bed of Pea & Mint Risotto

Seared Scallops Wrapped in Pancetta
on a bed of Pea & Mint Risotto
A fresh and flavourful first course that's bound to impress
Serves 4 as a starter


12 large scallops, shelled & coral removed

12 thin slices of pancetta
Drizzle of olive oil
Freshly ground salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
300g risotto rice
100ml white wine
1 litre hot chicken stock
100g frozen peas
1 large handful fresh mint, chopped
3 tbsp double cream
50g parmesan cheese
50g butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.      Rinse the scallops and pat dry. Using the back of a knife flatten each slice of pancetta to stretch it. Wrap each scallop with a piece of pancetta and secure with a cocktail stick. Drizzle over some olive oil and salt and pepper.  Set aside in the refrigerator.
2.      Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for three minutes or until the ingredients have softened but not coloured.
3.      Add the risotto rice to the saucepan and stir well for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains turn translucent.
4.      Add the wine to the saucepan and turn up the heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the wine has been absorbed.
5.      Gradually add the hot chicken stock to the saucepan, a ladleful at a time and stir continuously, only adding the next ladleful of stock when the rice has fully absorbed the previous ladleful. Cook until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is slightly al dente.
6.      Preheat a large frying pan until medium hot. Cook the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the bacon is crisp and the scallops are cooked through.
7.      Meanwhile add the peas, fresh mint, double cream and butter. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 2-3 minutes.
8.      To serve, spoon the rice into warmed bowls and place the seared scallops on top after removing the cocktail sticks.

Cooks Tips
v  Instead of scallops you can serve with cooked and flaked salmon.

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