Thickly sliced crumbly black pudding, fried till crispy with saute scallops and a smooth apple puree made from tart granny smith’s.
Beannachtai la fheile padraig!….and for those of you who don’t speak Gaelic, Happy Saint Paddy’s day. You might be planning on celebrating the day by drowning the shamrock or maybe cooking something with a little Irish flavour.
There’s bacon and cabbage (a dish I grew up on and still love today) Or you could go with one of the iconic Irish potato dishes, champ, boxty, or colcannon. Unlike the French or Italians here in Ireland, we don’t have a long list of classic dishes which were famous for.
What we do have though are some of the finest ingredients which we can be rightly proud of. I’m thinking of the top quality beef and lamb we produce here. The fine dairy produce and farmhouse cheeses. The huge variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, and of course bountiful seas packed with the finest fish and shellfish.
I suppose you could call this little surf n’ turf dish a new Irish classic. I’ve been cooking it since the early 90’s when a German chef I worked with introduced me to this great combo from land and sea. Since then I’ve done this dish loads of different ways and with different sauces. My other favourite way to eat saute scallops and black pudding is with some grain mustard mash and a simple parsley coulis.
I used to think black pudding was an Irish thing, I know they have the boudin noir in France though. As It turns out many countries have a version of a black pudding made with pig’s blood as I found out reading this post on David Lebovitz blog. Check the comments there are guys from all over continental Europe extolling the virtues of their puddings.
Personally, there’s one black pudding I prise above all else. The humble Clonakilty from the county of cork. Unlike other black puddings, this one is made with beef blood and not pigs. A bit like Kentucky fried chicken there’s a special blend of herbs and spices that make this pudding unique.
The thing you’ll like most about Clonakilty is the high concentration of pinhead oats which gives it a crumbly texture and if you give it a quick saute in hot oil it crisps up nicely unlike other puddings that are soft in texture.
If you can get your hands on it then use it in this recipe. Apple and black pudding are two ingredients that love each other and Its earthy flavours work so well with the briny mouth-sized chunks of sweetness that are scallops. The dish is brought together by a smooth apple puree made from granny smith’s. The slightly tart flavour of the apple sauce really brings out the sweetness of those scallops.
I love scallops not just for their delicate sweet flavour but also for their ease of cooking. Throw a pan on the heat, get it smouldering hot, add a thin film of oil, and cook them till golden for a minute on each side and its job done!
Scallops are the ultimate, delicious, quick-cook shellfish. Not only that but they just look so elegant sitting on a plate no matter what you serve them with.
The only downside with scallops is of course their price but as it’s St. Patrick’s day, I’m treating myself.
What’s your favourite Irish inspired dish?Print
For the apple sauce
- 2 granny smith apples
- 1 teaspoon of icing sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons of water
- pinch of salt
- 400g / 1lb clonakilty black pudding
- 12 scallops
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Peel, core, and chop up the apples into a small dice.
- In a saucepan combine the diced apple with the sugar, lemon juice, salt, and water and mix well.
- Place a tight fitting lid on the saucepan and cook your apples on a low heat for about 5 minutes till soft and tender.
- Whizz up your applesauce in a food processor till smooth and pass it through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Set aside and keep warm.
- Cut your black pudding into 12 large slices about a half inch thick. Heat half the olive oil in a pan and cook your black pudding for a minute on each side till golden and crunchy. Then set aside and keep warm.
- Next its time to cook your scallops. Heat the remainder of the oil in a pan till smouldering hot. Carefully add the scallops and cook for 2 minutes till caramelized and golden on each side. Remove from the pan and drain well on kitchen paper.
- To plate up divide the scallops and black pudding between four plates. Dab some of the apple sauce around each plate and garnish with some parsley and some finely cut strips of apple for some extra crunch.