Seared king scal­lops, sautéed ar­ti­chokes, crispy ar­ti­choke skins, ap­ple vinai­grette and roast al­monds


Essex Life - - INSIDE -

Head chef Dan Freear knows his kitchen in­side and out at Strat­tons. He be­gan work­ing with the bou­tique fam­ily-run ho­tel when he was just 15, work­ing front of house. Since that young start he has swapped his al­le­giance and moved to work in the kitchen, and was pro­moted from sous chef to head chef a lit­tle over 12 months ago. His sole fo­cus is the ho­tel’s kitchen; along with his brigade they con­tin­u­ally cre­ate ex­cit­ing new dishes from the fresh­est lo­cal in­gre­di­ents. Here Dan shares his recipe for a tasty au­tum­nal scal­lop starter.


(Serves four)

For the ap­ple vinai­grette

1 shal­lot (peeled and finely diced)

1 tsp of sugar

100ml of ap­ple vine­gar 1 Granny Smith ap­ple (peeled and finely diced)

1 small hand­ful of chives (finely sliced)

For the sautéed ar­ti­chokes

500g of whole Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes

1 tbsp of rape seed oil 1 knob of but­ter

For the roast al­monds

75g of whole blanched al­monds

For the scal­lops

8 hand-dived king scal­lops (roe re­moved)

1 large knob of but­ter


Turn the oven on to 180°C. Start by mak­ing the vinai­grette. Put the shal­lots in a saucepan with the sugar and vine­gar. Bring to the boil un­til the sugar has dis­solved. Re­move from the heat and set aside to cool to room tem­per­a­ture. Once the vine­gar mix is cool, add the ap­ple, chives and the olive oil. Check for sea­son­ing and store in the fridge.

Wash the ar­ti­chokes thor­oughly un­der a cold tap to re­move any earth on their skins. Pat dry with kitchen roll, then place into a steamer. Cook un­til ten­der (when a cock­tail stick goes through the whole ar­ti­choke with ease) this will take be­tween 20 and 25 min­utes. Leave to cool.

While the ar­ti­chokes are cool­ing, roast the whole blanched al­monds in the oven at 180˚C for eight min­utes un­til a light golden colour. Blitz in a food pro­ces­sor. Slice the ar­ti­chokes into quar­ters. Us­ing a tea­spoon re­move the flesh and set the left-over skins aside. Place a fry­ing pan on a high heat with the rape­seed oil and bring to near smok­ing point, then add the ar­ti­choke flesh. In­stantly turn the pan down to medium and leave for 2 min­utes. Do not shake the pan. After a cou­ple of min­utes, a crust will have formed on the out­side of the ar­ti­chokes, now flip them over. Sea­son heav­ily with salt and pep­per and add the but­ter. Place in the 180˚C oven for 15 min­utes un­til a crispy crust has de­vel­oped on the out­side of the ar­ti­choke, while still main­tain­ing a soft cen­tre.

Cook the ar­ti­choke skins in a deep fat fryer set at 170˚C for ap­prox­i­mately two min­utes un­til crispy and drain on kitchen roll. Sea­son with sea salt. Place a heavy cast iron fry­ing pan onto a medium heat and add a driz­zle of rape­seed oil. When hot add the scal­lops and cook for 2 to 2 ½ min­utes then flip over and add a large knob of but­ter. Cook for a fur­ther minute, us­ing a spoon to con­stantly coat the scal­lops with the but­ter. When done re­move from the pan and place on a chop­ping board, sprin­kle with sea salt and leave to rest for 1 to 1½ min­utes.

To serve, bring all the el­e­ments to­gether and ar­range on hot plates. Add the scal­lops at the last minute, serve and en­joy. Get the Taste Strat­tons

Ash Close Swaffham

PE37 7NH

01760 723845 www.strat­ton­

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