Neil Forbes is the Chef Director at Café St. Honoré. Located down a cobbled lane in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, this fantastic little French café has all the exquisite delights of good food. The kitchen’s secret is simple. Good, fresh, local produce. This means the á la carte menu changes daily to reflect the seasonal options, and it is backed up with a Café Classics menu.
The kitchen has a ‘Slow Food’ philosophy, meaning they get all their supplies and produce locally which in turn supports the local economy and reduces food miles.
The restaurant has won several awards over the years and with a chef director who is one of Scotland’s most passionate chefs, it is little wonder. This small restaurant has a big foothold within the industry as it leads the way in sustainability. Here at Taste Magazine, we are excited to get exclusive recipes with Neil Forbes and bring the Café St. Honoré to your home.
Hand Dived Scallops with Chive Butter Sauce
An excellent summer treat, scallops should be springy to the touch yet melt in your mouth.
A few tips before you start:
- Do not overcook or they will taste like rubber.
- A reduction is when you boil or simmer down your liquid until it is the desired concentration or thickness. Leave off the lid to allow evaporation to do its job.
Cooking time: 30 mins
Allow 3 or 4 scallops per person and leave the coral on (the orange bit). (Chef Neil buy his scallops from The Ethical Shellfish Company)
100ml white wine
100ml cider vinegar
1 sprig of thyme
A few peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 shallot, peeled and roughly sliced
1 tablespoon double cream
125g cold, unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
Good salt and pepper
1 lemon for squeezing
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Cold-pressed rapeseed oil
First, you must make a reduction for the sauce. Add the shallots, peppercorns, bay leaf, wine, vinegar and thyme to a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce by two thirds then pass through a sieve into a clean pot. Bring to the boil again and reduce by half.
To make the sauce, add the cream to the reduction and gently bring to the boil. Slowly add the cubes of butter a few at a time and start to emulsify the sauce by using a swirling technique with your spoon or whisk. Take care not to let the mixture get too hot or too cold as it will split.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper and a hint of lemon juice then add the chopped chives. Set to one side in a warm place.
To cook the scallops, place a frying pan on the hob on a high temperature. Add a splash of cold-pressed rapeseed oil, and ensuring they are dry, add the scallops to the hot oil in the pan.
Cook the scallops on both sides for a minute or two until golden brown. (Don't over-cook them or they will become like rubber balls.) Remove the scallops from the pan and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
To serve, place the scallops onto warmed plates and drizzle over the chive butter sauce. Serve at once.
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