Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Scottish King Scallops Poached in Milk Canapes

Selection of canapes featuring Scottish king scallops poached in milk

I love scallops and cook them usually in one of three ways. The first two are popular in that I griddle or fry them but this method of poaching them gently in milk is perhaps not quite so well known. It is actually a foolproof method for ensuring they are cooked to perfection every time and don't become overcooked and rubbery as can so easily happen with these delectable but delicate little morsels. This way of serving the scallops as part of canapes was an experiment but I think it worked very well and the canape bases/additional toppings are of course infinitely variable. The following is precisely how I made this particular selection of Scottish king scallop canapes.

Bread (toasted) and crackers form the bases of the cnapes

Ingredients for 8 Canapes

8 Scottish king scallops
2 slices of bread
4 crackers of chosen type(s)
2 teaspoons tomato salsa
2 teaspoons soured cream with chives
2 teaspoons quail pate
Milk as required to poach scallops (roughly 3/4 pint)

Pate, tomato salsa and soured cream with chives for canapes


The cooking time required for this recipe is very short so it is advisable to do as much of the serving preparation as you can before you actually start cooking. I decided to serve four different types of canapes. Two of the crackers were to be spread with quail pate and two served plain with the scallops. I got these bases ready as my first step.
Cracker canape bases ready for poached scallops

Scallops are often purchased with the coral or roe (the orange bit) already having been discarded. Alternatively, many people remove and discard it at home before cooking the scallops. While it's true the coral is not as succulent and tasty  as the main scallop mussel, it is perfectly edible and enjoyable to eat, so why not leave it attached? With the price you may well have paid for your scallops, it's best to get your money's worth as much as possible!

Scottish king scallops added to poaching pot

Put the scallops in a pot or saucepan and pour in enough cold milk just to ensure they are completely covered.

Milk is poured in to pot to cover scallops

Put the pot on to a medium heat. The scallops are ready as soon as the milk just begins to simmer - don't let it get anywhere near a boil. At this stage, the scallops should be promptly removed from the poaching liquid with a large slotted spoon.

A drinking glass is used to cut circles from toast

The scallops will only take around two to three minutes so make the toast as soon as they are put on to heat.

Toast circles ready to form bases of canapes

Use a slender drinking glass or similar to cut two circles from each slice of toast.

Canape bases are ready for poached scallops

Spoon the tomato salsa on to two toast circles and the soured cream with chives on to the other two. Lay the toast circles on your serving plate or board.

When the scallops are removed from the milk, lay them on a plate, from which they can be lifted individually with tongs to top the prepared canape bases.

Poached scallops removed from milk pot

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