This sophisticated seafood starter features black olive jelly, apricot gel and crisp young green almonds.
handful shelled green almonds
For the curry oil, mix together the grapeseed oil and curry powder in a jug and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the oil through a muslin cloth, discarding the solids, then season the oil with a pinch of salt.
For the apricot gel, place the apricot purée into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the agar-agar and whisk for one minute, then pour the mixture into a shallow tray and set aside to cool. Place into the fridge to chill until set. Once set, scrape the gel into a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if necessary. Transfer the gel to a squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to serve.
For the olive brine jelly, place the brine and vinegar into a non-reactive pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then add the agar-agar and whisk for one minute. Pour the mixture into a shallow tray and set aside to cool. Place into the fridge to chill until set. Once set, cut out small discs using a pastry cutter.
For the vanilla and lime syrup, use a peeler to remove the zest from the two limes and place into a small pan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then drain and repeat the process three times.
Shred the zest, then place into a pan with the sugar and water and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for ten minutes, then add the vanilla seeds and pod and the juice from one lime. Cook until the mixture has reduced to a sticky syrup consistency.
For the yoghurt, place the yoghurt into a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to serve.
For the black olive oil, blend the black olives with the grapeseed oil until smooth, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to serve.
For the scallops, remove the orange roe from the scallops (you can reserve them for another recipe). Slice the scallops in half lengthways, then set aside on a clean cloth.
Heat a few tablespoons of the curry oil in a frying pan over a high heat and fry the scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and just-cooked. Remove from the pan and place onto serving plates.
To serve, drizzle the remaining curry oil around the scallops on the plate and arrange the olive brine jelly along the side. Drizzle the plate with black olive oil, swipe the yoghurt down the other side of the plate and scatter with the green almonds. Decorate the plate with dots of the apricot gel and the lime and vanilla syrup.
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The last pair of semi-finalists are sent into service at Sat Bains in Nottingham.
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