Pan Fried Scallops with Jamon Serrano and a Carrot Puree

I mentioned in a recent blog about the problems chefs encounter in the Alps with getting their hands on decent quality fish. There are a few large lakes that supply much of the Northern Alps such as Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) and Lac d’Annecy. There are also a number of smaller local lakes but they don’t exactly produce a large yield – particularly in winter. The larger lakes are hardly ‘local,’ and the carbon foot print from hauling fresh fish up the mountain each day won’t exactly thrill eco-warriors.

So the Alps are inevitably supplied by lots of fish from the Atlantic, and that means the fish are usually frozen for the journey. The quality of fish is not significantly compromised if they are frozen immediately after being caught. Also, certain fish freeze much better than others. As a general rule the more ‘oily’ a fish and the more ‘meaty’ texture the better it can handle the freeze/thaw process. This is basically because they have a more robust structure where the cell walls don’t break down as easily when the fish defrosts. Two fish that freeze particularly well are salmon and scallops which is why they have the strongest presence on The Tasty Ski Company menus.

Carrot Puree

400g grated carrot

milk

75g butter

Add the carrots to a pan and add milk until just covered. Simmer for 30 minutes until the carrots are soft. Strain the liquid and blend the carrots in a mixer. Re-add milk and butter until slowly until a puree texture has been achieved.

Jamon Serrano

Place the serrano ham in a 70 degrees oven the night before to let it dry out and become crisp.

Scallops

When choosing them, the bigger the better, none of that queeny scallop nonsense. In the morning place them between kitchen roll and place in the fridge. This will dry them out and help them become nice and crispm when frying them.

When ready to serve, season the scallops and place them in a hot pan for about 2 minutes until a nice golden crust has been achieved. Flip them over and place in a 180 degrees oven for 1 minute.