Trout and Scallops

We are incredibly lucky to live within 5 minutes walk of a wonderful fishmonger (and butcher and greengrocer), and when Mr B goes for the messages I’m never sure what will catch his eye or if I will have to do the Masterchef ‘invention test’ when he gets back with a random assortment of delights.  He’s not a cook so some of his combos are decidedly interesting.  But then how was peanut butter and jelly discovered, or chilli and chocolate.  So generally I go with the flow.  This is today’s bag but is rather a show stopper if you do all the layers.  Slightly wilted pak choi layered with peas and broad beans and mellow mayo, topped with scallops, trout and the holy trinity of chilli, spring onion and ginger.   Do the prep ahead and it’s not such a fiddle as it sounds, it all comes together at the last minute with élan.  If you can’t face cooking all the layers it would make a great warm salad served over soft lettuce instead of the pak choi.

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  • 1. Check the fish for bones with your fingers and use tweezers to pull any bones out. Cut the fillets in half. Remove the tough muscle from the side of the scallops and discard
  • 2. In a small pan gently sweat the shallots in a tbsp of rapeseed oil for 5 minutes until transparent. Add the peas and broad beans and the wine and simmer gently until the vegetables are cooked. Don't add salt before they are cooked as the broad beans will go tough. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar after they are cooked. Keep warm
  • 3. To make the mayonnaise put the egg yolks in a bowl and very gradually add the oil drop by drop to start with and whisk well between additions of oil. It will thicken up and you will have a good stiffish mayonnaise. Add some drops of lemon juice and vinegar, along with salt and pepper until you get a nice flavour. The rapeseed oil is a bit more mellow than virgin olive oil and I prefer it with light fish dishes. Keep to one side
  • 4. In a saute or frying pan heat some rapeseed oil until not quite smoking and cook the trout fillets skin side down for a few minutes depending on how big they are. Turn over and take the pan off the heat but leave the fish in the pan for 4 or 5 minutes to gently finish cooking - you don't want the soft side of the fish seared or it could dry out
  • 5. While the fish finishes cooking, wilt the pak choi for a few seconds with a couple of tabs of salted water. Drain and keep warm
  • 6. Remove the trout onto a warm plate to rest and in the same pan sear the scallops on both sides for a couple of minutes until just starting to caramelise - don't over cook them or they will turn to rubber. There should still be some give when you press with a finger
  • 7. While they are cooking arrange the the pak choi on the plates, then add the pea and bean mixture. Add a large tbsp of mayonnaise on top followed by the scallops and trout fillets.
  • 8. Finally, in the same hot sauté pan toss in the chopped chilli, ginger and spring onion mix in the pan juices - along with a few tbsp white wine, or chilli sauce - whatever you have to hand and cook for a minute or two before spooning liberally on top of the fish

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About Chef

Ally Bremner

Founder of 'What to Cook' if and sister site 'What to Eat if', Ally Bremner has personal experience of diet limitations, either through her own Coeliac Disease or family members ...