Sunday, 16 October 2011

C'est La Vie...

Too much booze and not enough food lately has resulted in not enough blog posts. Having settled back in Aberdeen, it is time to get cooking a storm and invite a new neighbour, but an old friend for a French Bistro style dinner party. I have been running around all day trying to find mussels and scallops from Aberdeen. The funny thing is Aberdeen is right on the coast of North Sea. You would think that seafood would be plentiful in the markets and shops, but no. I remember watching a document on fishing in the North Sea and Atlantic and how it correlates with the variety of seafood offered in supermarkets. For example, langoustines are more than plentiful in the oceans, but they never end up in supermarkets, since the Great British population won't buy it.
Nevertheless my French Bistro style evening at the Bistro d'Orme Banque was a success. For starters I served Scallops wrapped in Prosciutto with Balsamic Glaze. The main was the classic Salmon en Papillote, served with a Puy Lentil Cassoulet, Buttered Baby Potatoes and a Bistro Salad. For dessert I served the classic crowd pleaser Crème brûlée with a hint of Cardamon.


3 scallops per person
same amount of slices of prosciutto

Pull away and discard the viscera and frilled membrane. Gently rinse the scallops in cold running water. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each scallop. Fry for 5 minutes each side in a pan with a drop of olive oil. Serve with salad and balsamic glaze.


1 skinless salmon fillet per person
vine ripened tomatoes
1 garlic clove
flat leaf parsley, chopped
a splash of white wine
2 tbsp double cream
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the salmon fillet and tomatoes on a big piece of greaseproof paper. Add the the whole garlic clove, parsley, white wine, double cream and salt and black pepper to taste. Fold up the paper to make a parcel. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.


100 ml full fat milk
300 ml double cream
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp ground cardamon
5 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
demerara sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 95°C. Heat up milk and cream in a saucepan. Season with vanilla sugar and ground cardamon. Whip the sugar and egg yolk into a firm mixture. Carefully combine the egg and sugar mixture into the milk and cream. Pour the mixture into small ramekins. Cook in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until the crème brûlées are fully cooked - just set but a bit wobbly in the middle. Cool in the fridge over night. Sprinkle demerar sugar on top of the créme brûlées and caramelise with a chef's torch blow. Alternatively caramelise in the oven under the grill.

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