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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Saturday experimental recipe

We quite often go out to eat at good restaurants and my partner is a bit of an enthusiastic amateur. With a bit of trial and error he has recreated some fantastic recipes from these restaurants and cook books. Once you learn the basics it's not as frightening as it looks. I get to watch him mostly, sat at my bar stool sipping something tasty and nibbling on olives maybe (he loves it really, and I wash up!).

We looked into how to recreate some of our fav recipes and have enjoyed these so much, that our trips to eat out are dwindling!

Today we were going to have a lobster risotto, but on a trip to the supermarket we spotted some scallops that looked quite fresh. We ususally buy these from the fishmonger, but as these looked so good, it will save the trip. There was a dressed crab too. As it was quite late the scallops were unbelieveably half price. So the cost for all of this was £9. We recalled a wonderful meal we had not long ago and are now in the process of trying to recreate it. The meal is a crushed potato and crab salad topped with scallops and rocket salad, with a ginger and lime puree.

At the moment he is preparing the carrot puree which will form the basis of the ginger and lime puree. Two carrots have been chopped up and placed in a saucepan. A shallot and small clove of garlic was fried gently to soften and added to the carrots. This was then covered with water and boiled until carrots softened. We added a little homemade chicken stock to give a richer taste, but if you don't have this then don't worry. Then just liquidise the whole thing and add salt and pepper to taste.

This is the first part of the meal done already, and can be left in the fridge until later. The ginger and lime can then be added if you don't have time. But we've done that now too. We used about 1/8" of ginger (4 ml) finely grated and half a teaspoon of lime (2ml)plus a bit of the zest. We've just tasted it, and it is so velvety, fresh and sweet with an oriental twist. This should go well with lots of dishes and especially the scallops and crab tonight. Here is a pic of the carrot puree (for an idea on consistency). It was liquidised first and we thought it may needed sieving too, but in fact we didn't need to do that.

By the way, this carrot puree(without the lime and ginger) is the basis for soup. Just add water to thin it down. Obviously the most common carrot soup is carrot and coriander, so just add some chopped coriander and you have a uber fresh soup!

Expected cost of this dish for 2 is around £12 - that's £6 each! However, we have more than enough crab to feed 4 really. We are having 4 scallops each, but if we made that 3 scallops per person we would only have needed to buy a few more to feed 4 people. Then the total cost of this meal for 4 people would be around £14. Cost per head just £3.50. The restaurant cost would be significantly higher. More pictures of the final dish will follow later. It is so colourful you won't believe it.

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