SEARED SCALLOPS, POTATO CARBONARA, CRISPY BACON, EGG YOLK & PARMESAN

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Serves 6
350g smoked bacon
1 golden shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
15 thyme sprigs
125ml (½ cup) white wine
1 litre (4 cups) pure cream
550g pink-skinned waxy potatoes, such as desiree, peeled
30g finely grated good-quality Italian parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
olive oil
24 large scallops, roe removed
a knob of unsalted butter
1 egg yolk, whisked
a large handful of mixed small-leafed herbs, such as tarragon, chervil, flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, baby shiso and baby basil

Trim any fat and rind from the bacon, reserving the trimmings, then cut into ½ long pieces (lardons).

Sweat the bacon trimmings in a non–stick frying pan over medium heat to render down the fat. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and continue to cook until the shallots are tender and the mixture starts to stick to the base of the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring well, then add the cream. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the cream sauce through a fine sieve, discarding the aromatics. Refrigerate in a sealed container until required.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the bacon lardons until crisp and well coloured. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Use a Japanese turning slicer to make potato ‘spaghetti’. Immediately plunge the potato into chilled water to prevent it from browning. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the potato for exactly one minute then refresh in iced water. Drain as soon as the potato has chilled then set aside.

Reheat the cream sauce gently over low heat. Add the potato and bring to a gentle simmer to heat through – this should only take a minute or so. Add the parmesan and bacon lardons then remove from the heat. Season with sea salt and black pepper then fold through the chives.

Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over high heat. Season the scallops with sea salt and black pepper then in batches, quickly sear in the hot pan on both sides until opaque – they should only take about 20-30 seconds each side. Remove the pan from the heat and add a knob of butter. Set aside for the 20 seconds to rest, spooning the butter over the scallops.

To serve, use a fork to twirl some potato into the centre of serving bowls. Spoon a little of the cream sauce over the top, then a little of the egg yolk. Scatter over the bacon then arrange four scallops around the plate. Garnish with a small handful of the herbs and finish with a grind of black pepper.