Paul Ainsworth’s Cornish Scallops with Brown Shrimp Butter

“Whenever I am having scallops at home, this is the simplest and most lovely way of doing them: grilled simply with butter, lemon and seasoning. In this recipe, the brown shrimps and parsley give them a little extra ‘something’ along with the crunchy croutons.”

PREP: 10-15 mins
COOKING: 5 mins

4 large scallops
250g butter
250g brown shrimps
100g freshly-chopped chervil keep 25g back for finishing
pinch of ground mace
1 lemon – juice only
sea salt
white pepper, milled
2 slices of fresh brioche
a knob of butter for frying

Remove the scallops from their shells, saving the dome part of the shell. If desired, remove orange coral. Wash the scallops lightly in a bowl of cold water and drain them on kitchen paper. Place in the fridge until serving.

For the Butter

Soften the butter to a paste but do not melt. Add the brown shrimps and chervil and then the lemon, mace and seasoning to taste. Mix well and place the butter mixture on a sheet of cling film. Roll into a cylinder roughly the same circumference as the scallops. Chill the butter in the fridge. Cut the brioche slices into bite-size cubes. Lightly fry them in a frying pan with a knob of butter and seasoning. When they are golden in colour, drain them and leave to cool on a tray lined with kitchen paper. Put each scallop into a shell, lightly season and drizzle with olive oil. Place under the grill for about 2 minutes – or more, depending on size. Unwrap the butter and slice into 1cm pieces. Place a slice of butter on top of each scallop. Continue to cook the scallops until the butter has turned nut brown. The scallops should be a little firm to the touch, but not hard.
To serve, add more chopped chervil and the crunchy croutons.