Sunday, 24 July 2011

A bit of a dish

Whilst new relationships are great for the psyche they can be bad for the waistline ... with a few pounds of 'happy fat' easily accruing. This isn't surprising as eating out in fancy restaurants or impressing your partner with your culinary skills at home is an integral part of courtship.

Luckily for me the new BF not only enjoys cooking but is just as happy to cook up healthy creations as rich and heavy dishes. So this weeks recipe wasn't actually prepared by myself, but the hot doc made it look so easy I think even I could manage it. It's reasonably quick to prepare, impressive looking and delicious so great to impress your date. The minty pea sauce would also be great served as a pea and mint soup on it's own served with a crusty wholemeal (or gluten free) roll.

Sea Bass and Scallops with Minty Pea sauce

First make the pea sauce. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a saucepan and saute one small shallot very gently, stirring, until soft but not brown, about 1 minute. Add 1/2tsp minced garlic, 225g frozen peas thawed, 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves and 250ml vegetable stock from 500ml. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Puree in a blender, adding enough of the remaining stock to give a thick but pourable consistency. Return to the pan and set aside.

Season 2 small (115g each) sea bass fillets and 4 king (or 8 small) scallops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in the frying pan until very hot but not smoking. Saute the sea bass, skin-side down, with the scallops until golden, 1–2 minutes. Gently turn the fish and scallops over and quickly sear the other sides for 1–2 minutes longer. Take care not to overcook the fish. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Reheat the pea sauce and spoon onto deep, warmed plates, spreading it out to a large pool. Place two pieces of sea bass, skin-side down, and two scallops on top of each pool and garnish with chopped fresh chives.

Serve with sides of steamed fine green beans and boiled new potatoes drizzled with olive oil.

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