• Paul Askew

Festive recipe: King scallop starter by The Art School’s Paul Askew

Festive Recipe: Seared king scallop with black pudding and romanesco cous cous

By Paul Askew

Aside from being chef patron of critically acclaimed restaurant The Art School, award-winning Paul Askew has released a book – ‘Onwards and Upwards’ – and shared his culinary expertise on TV shows including ‘Celebrity Masterchef’. Now he’s passing on winter cooking wisdom to YM Liverpool, with a starter that’ll set the tone for a spectacular Christmas feast.

For the Romanesco Cous Cous


•  A third of a head of romanesco (or cauliflower)
•  Half a lemon, squeezed
•  20g chopped chives
•  Splash of good fresh stock
•  Bok choi shoots for garnish
•  Knob of butter


In the food processor, add the third of the romanesco and blitz to a chunky breadcrumb consistency. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and the chopped chives, and season to taste. Mix together and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Using the remainder of the romanesco, blanch the florettes in boiling salted water for two minutes. Remove, placing directly into iced water to stop the cooking process.

Drain the florettes on kitchen cloth to rid of any excess water. Cut lengthways down each florette to create a flat surface

When all elements are ready to be plated, add the florettes to a hot cast iron pan with a splash of oil to char the surface.

Finish with a knob of butter and use to garnish the final dish.

For the Puree


•  Splash of vegetable oil
•  Knob of butter
•  120g golden raisins
•  One banana shallot, peeled and finely diced
•  One clove of peeled garlic
•  50ml dessert wine
•  10ml white wine vinegar
•  Sea salt flakes
•  Ground white pepper to taste


Pre-soak the raisins in the dessert wine and white wine vinegar for 30 minutes.

In a large pan sweat off the shallots and garlic on a medium heat, using the vegetable oil and a knob of butter.

Add to the pan the soaked raisins and bring to the boil. Simmer for two to three minutes until the raisins are soft, and then blend them down to a puree using a hand blender.

Season to taste.

For the Scallops and Black Pudding


•  Splash of oil
•  Four diver-caught king scallops in the shell (ask your fishmonger to prepare them if you prefer)
•  One Granny Smith apple
•  Four pieces of black pudding cut into scallop-sized rounds
•  Squeeze of lemon juice
•  Sea salt flakes
•  Quality fish seasoning
•  Knob of butter


To prepare the scallops in the shell, remove the medallion from the shell. Remove the roe and the frill, ensuring all the membranes are removed.

At this stage, place the medallions onto a blue jay-cloth to draw out moisture content before cooking. This is extremely important to ensure the perfect cooking of your scallop, and frozen or tubs of scallops should not be used for this reason.

Using a cast iron heavy bottomed frying pan, heat on a high temperature to almost smoking but not burning. Using a splash of oil, add the scallops to the pan.

Season the scallop on the presentation side using sea salt flakes. This would be the side that was connected to the flat part of the shell, not connected to the foot of the scallop where the rounded part of the shell is. On the foot of the scallop sprinkle a little of the fish seasoning. At the same time as cooking the scallops, add the black pudding to the pan.

Sear the scallops for a minute until they are golden brown, before carefully turning them over and adding a knob of butter. Turn the black pudding at the same time.

Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, maximum, to ensure your perfect scallop is of a translucent colour through the centre.

Don’t overcook the scallop. When they’re cooked, remove them from the pan and place onto a cloth to rid of any excess grease.

Cut the Granny Smith apple into sticks, with a squeeze of lemon over the top to avoid discolouring.

To assemble the plate…

Lay the romanseco cous cous, golden raised puree and scallops as shown in the photograph.

The Granny Smith apple sticks are used to finish the final plate adding acidity and balance to the final dish along with the crisp earthy flavour of the baby Bok choi shoots. Finish with a drizzle of the fresh stock.


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