Some weekends are all about simple suppers and one-pot dishes, but sometimes, when you’ve got time to spare or guests to impress, it pays to be a little adventurous. This week’s recipe is a sophisticated seafood dish from Asia de Cuba, the ever-popular restaurant at the St Martin’s Lane Hotel in Covent Garden. As the name suggests, the menu is a fusion of Asian and Latin flavours and this dish is a perfect example of how the two can work in harmony. Take your time over the presentation and serve it as a starter, main or as one of a few dishes to share.
Ingredients: 12 scallops; salt; micro greens; shichimi togarashi.
For the sauce: 2 ears of sweet corn (shucked); 1 shallot; 1 clove of garlic; 100ml chicken stock; 500ml double cream; 1/4 fresh habanero chilli (de-seeded); 3 sprigs of thyme; butter.
For the plantain: 250ml cider vinegar; 1/4 cup sugar; 1 green plantain (peeled and cut into small dice); 1/2 small shallot (sliced); fresh coriander (chopped); 1/4 cup of dry cherries (rehydrated).
1) For the sauce: Firstly sweat the shallots, garlic and chilli in a little butter. When they start to caramelise, add the cream, chicken stock and thyme. Simmer for around 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Season with salt, strain and set aside.
2) For the plantain: Reduce the vinegar and sugar down to a syrup. Deep-fry the plantain in a separate pan until soft in the middle. Sweat the shallots in some butter, add the plantain and the cherries, season with a little salt and the vinegar syrup and toss with some freshly chopped coriander.
3) Season the scallops with a little salt and the shichimi togarashi. Fry them in a non-stick pan, making sure the outside is caramelised but being careful not to over cook them.
4) Dress the plates with the habanero sauce – try some Masterchef-style drizzles and flourishes. Add the scallops and plantain, garnish with micro greens and serve immediately.
Book a table at Asia de Cuba in August and take advantage of their Bloody Mary Jazz Brunch offer.