Strawberries and Cream - my starter for Great British Menu 2017

Angela Malik

Angela Malik

30th May 2017

Strawberries and Cream - my starter for Great British Menu 2017

Strawberries and Cream - my starter for Great British Menu 2017 🍓

Summer in Scotland means only one thing - berry season. Some of my happiest childhood memories are sunny afternoons spent at PYO farms around Edinburgh in competition with my brother seeing which one of us could cram the most strawberries into their bucket. The reality being we stuffed more into our mouths than the punnets! My mum wasn’t a jam maker, she used strawberries in savoury dishes including her fabulous summer fruit chaat. An imaginative conglomeration of sweet cucumbers, strawberries, oranges, apples. Sulphury black rock salt, scotch bonnet chillies and tangy limes.
Of course, no Wimbledon is complete without strawberries and cream. They are forever linked in our minds. But who says they just have to be eaten for dessert? Inspired by my mother’s summer fruit chaat I decided to turn strawberries and cream on their head and present my interpretation as a savoury chilled soup. Perfect for a banquet at the height of summer and indeed might well have been on the menu at the very first Wimbledon dinner in 1877 as the Victorians loved cold soup! Strawberries make an interesting alternative to tomatoes in a gazpacho. They carry the other flavours of green and red peppers, cucumber and garlic well.
Scallops increased in culinary importance during the 1960s. Scottish scallops are world famous with the best being hand-selected by divers from offshore nurseries. The seared creamy white muscle makes a sensational contrast to the brilliant red gazpacho. I came across seafood ice cream on a trip to Spain a few years ago and have since seen ice cream served with gazpacho on several fine dining menus. My scallop ice cream is a riff the cream classically served with strawberries.

Ingredients

  • Scallop ice cream:
  • 150g Scottish scallops
  • 150ml milk
  • 250ml cream
  • 2g celtic kombu
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 25g sugar
  • 25g liquid glucose
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Strawberry gazpacho:
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed but kept whole
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 400g strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 150g English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 100g cups diced red bell pepper
  • 50g cup diced green bell pepper
  • 6 tablespoons tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (vinagre de Jerez)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tspn siracha
  • To decorate:
  • Borage flowers
  • micro watercress/thyme
  • nasturtium whorls & leaves

Method

For the scallop ice cream:
Dice the scallops and fry in a pan until caramelised.
Add milk, cream and celtic kombu and bring to the boil.
Once boiling, reduce to a gentle simmer for 3 minutes.
Cream the egg yolks, sugar and glucose together. Add a little of the milk mix onto the eggs to scorch, then add remaining mixture.
Return to the pan and gently heat until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon.
Strain through a fine sieve.
Add lemon juice.
Season to taste and churn in an ice cream maker.
For the strawberry gazpacho:
Add the strawberries, cucumber, peppers, remaining garlic clove, remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, tomato juice, vinegar, and salt to the bowl.
Toss to combine and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Marinate at room temperature for 3 to 6 hours.
Puree the ingredients and their juices in small batches in a blender on high speed until very smooth.
Strain through a chinois and chill in the refrigerator until very cold.
Taste and season, if necessary, with siracha and additional salt and red wine vinegar.
For the black pepper croutons:
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius.
Take the brioche or white bread and slice into 4mm thick slices, with a round cutter cut into 2cm diameter coins.
Take a non stick baking tray and brush with olive oil, place the coins and brush each coin with little olive oil, important to use little oil as possible.
Season with fine sea salt and black pepper and place a sheet of baking paper and another tray on top.
Place the tray in the oven and bake the bread coins until crispy and golden brown.
Place the coins when removing from the oven on a paper towel to remove all excess oil!
Keep in a warm and dry space till needed
For the scallops:
Cooking a scallop properly requires proper technique.
The trick is to not touch them.
Heat a pan over medium high heat.
Cook them mostly on one side to develop a beautiful crust and then just ‘kiss it’ on the other to finish it off.
Season the scallops lightly with sea salt and pepper.
Add a dash of oil to the hot pan, when it is shimmering it is ready for the scallops.
Nice side down place the scallops in the pan giving them an inch of separation from the next one on each side.
Let the scallop cook without touching until you see the edges caramelize and turn brown (about 2 min).
Flip so it 'kisses' the pan and then immediately remove.
To Assemble:
Place a scoop of ice cream on the place.
Gently pour around the gazpacho.
Dress with cooked scallops, croutons and edible flowers.