BOOK DETAILS: Bistronomy: French Food Unbound, by Katrina Meynink. (Murdoch, $49.99.)
Barbecued scallops with seaweed gremolata
Chef: Adam Byatt
4 extra-large scallops, skirt and roe removed, shells reserved
sea herbs, such as samphire, sea purslane, stonecrop, to serve
50g plain flour
pinch of Maldon salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
18g fennel seeds
1 Lebanese cucumber, quartered lengthways, seeds removed
400ml vegetable oil
1tsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 red chilli, deseeded
150g flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, zest
200ml olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine the ingredients for the fennel sand in a blender and blitz until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then spread on the tray and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
Combine the seaweed, cucumber and vegetable oil for the seaweed emulsion. Blend for four minutes at 80C using a Thermomix. Alternatively, leave the seaweed and cucumber in a warm place, then blend the cucumber and seaweed for 10 minutes in a blender. Add vegetable oil and blend for a further five minutes. By hand, whisk the seaweed oil in a steady stream slowly into the rest of the ingredients to make a mayonnaise.
To make the gremolata, finely chop the garlic, chilli, chives, parsley, chervil, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Add some of the olive oil to the mixed ingredients, then continue chopping and adding more oil until you form a coarse dressing.
Toss the scallops in the gremolata. Put the scallops back in their shells, wrap with string and cook on a barbecue or chargrill for seven minutes. Set scallops aside to rest for two minutes. Cut the string and remove the top shell.
To serve, spoon a small amount of seaweed emulsion into each shell, top with fennel sand and garnish with sea herbs.
Ricotta, plums and lavender
Chef: Shaun Kelly
250g excellent quality fresh ricotta
1 tbsp icing sugar
100g caster sugar
5 lavender stalks, including flower heads
12 mirabelle plums or 6 small plums, halved, stoned
1 tsp caster sugar, extra
fruity olive oil (optional), to serve
edible flowers, to serve
Place the ricotta and icing sugar in a bowl and stir to combine. You may add more to taste but you don't want the ricotta to be overly sweet. Combine 125ml ( ½ cup) of water and the castor sugar in a medium saucepan. Add the lavender stalks and bring the mixture to the boil over low–medium heat. Simmer, then set aside to cool and allow the flavours to infuse. Strain into a clean bowl, reserving the flowers for serving. (You will have more syrup than you need, and can keep what's left over in an airtight container in the refrigerator for future use.)
Dust the cut side of the plum halves with the extra castor sugar. Put the plums in a large non-stick frying pan, cut side down, over medium heat to caramelise. Alternatively, use a blowtorch to caramelise the sugar to achieve a brûlée effect.
To serve, place a large dollop of the ricotta in the centre of each plate. Strew with the plum halves. Drizzle with the lavender syrup and decorate with the reserved lavender stalks. Sprinkle with a few drops of fruity olive oil, if using, and scatter with edible flowers.
Note: You can use dried lavender if fresh flowers are unavailable.
Slow-roasted shoulder of lamb, smoked potatoes and mint sauce
Chef: Shaun Kelly
2kg lamb shoulder, bone in
2 tbsp olive oil
organic hay, for roasting
1kg small potatoes
1-3 tbsp butter
80g mint, leaves picked, stalks reserved
100ml cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Rub the lamb with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay a couple of handfuls of hay in a roasting tin, cover with a layer of muslin (cheesecloth) or a wire rack and put the seasoned lamb on top. Roast in the oven for five hours, basting the lamb with the juices as it cooks.
Boil the potatoes in salted water until just cooked, then strain. To smoke them, you will need a large saucepan or tray with a fitted lid, and a wire rack or metal steamer basket that fits inside but is raised from the base of the saucepan. Place the saucepan over high heat and add a handful of hay. Once it begins to smoke, ignite it with a match, quickly put the wire rack on top and add the potatoes, then cover with the lid to snuff out the flames. Place outside for 20 minutes to allow the potatoes to absorb the smoke.
Meanwhile, put the mint stalks in a medium saucepan and add the vinegar, 100 ml of water, the sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a light simmer and infuse for 20 minutes then allow to cool. Strain. Finely chop the mint leaves and add to the infused liquid.
Toss the smoked potatoes with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the lamb and potatoes with the roasting juices and the mint sauce separately in a small pot.