4 x fresh scallops on the shell (if prepared by your fishmonger, ask for the trimmings)
For the Salted Cod
200g fresh cod fillet
2 pinches coarse salt
1 spring of fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
For the Stock
1 shallot, finely diced
Knob of butter
1 carrot, finely sliced
1 small leek, slice very finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
½ glass of white wine
1 bay leaf
1 spring thyme
For the Sauce Ecossaise
3 boiled eggs
1 tbsp of butter
4 tbsp of plain flour
A large glass of milk
Salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper & nutmeg for seasoning
Parsley, finely diced
As Chef Patron of the AA rosette-awarded l’escargot restaurants I have consistently championed local Scottish produce since opening my first restaurant in Edinburgh in 1998. Having worked in kitchens from the age of 13, I have a fundamental respect for all produce and animals, which remains my key focus to this day. Provenance and ethical sourcing continue to be the foundations behind each and every dish that I create with my team.
Remember to get the best, freshest quality products from your local producer or market. Use the best quality eggs and the freshest the fish you can, as the better the ingredients, the better the results. I can never say it loud enough; there is no food without ingredients of a high-quality provenance!
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
The day before, place the fresh cod on a tray and sprinkle the coarse salt all over, add the fresh thyme and crushed garlic. Cover with cling film and keep refrigerated for 12 hours.
In a pan and on a low heat, sweat the shallots in a bit of olive oil and butter for 2 minutes. Add in the finely sliced carrots, white leeks and crushed garlic, sweat for another 3 to 4 minutes, add in the scallops trims, the white wine, the bay leaf and the spring of thyme. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and keep the stock until needed for the sauce Ecossaise. Discard everything else. This should give you roughly a large glass worth of stock.
On the day, boil the eggs. Keep the yolks to one side, and slice the egg white very finely. Keep to one side.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add in the sieved flour and whisk it on a low heat for 2 minutes, then pour in your milk and whisk until it boils. Slowly pour in your cold scallop stock still whisking at all time, simmer for another 5 minutes whisking again. By then you should have a sauce of a good consistency. Season with cayenne pepper, nutmeg, white pepper and a little salt. Don’t over salt!
Rinse and cook your cod on a buttered tray for 7 minutes at 180°C degrees covered with foil. Once cooked, leave to cool and flake it into your sauce. Add in the egg yolks and give it a firm stir using a wooden spatula, then add in the finely diced egg whites. Taste and then season again, the sauce should have a good constancy and full of flavour! Season again if required.
Cook the scallops in a hot frying pan with olive oil and butter. Sear them well and cook for 2 minutes on each side, do not cook them too long (try to keep them raw but warm at the heart).
Fill empty shells with your warm sauce Ecossaise and finish with a sprinkle of finely sliced parsley.
Place the cooked scallops on top and serve.