• Seared Scallop and Black Pudding Salad with Crispy Pancetta Read more
    Serves 4

    This is a lovely looking starter and totally irresistible if you ask me. Best scallops, crispy bacon, dressed salad and a taste of black pud - really good combination of flavours and textures. Your Falcon hob will make cooking scallops simple - listen for a happy sizzle in the pan.


    Ingredients
    10 hand-dived king scallops in their shells

    sunflower oil

    juice of ½ lemon4 slices

    Stornoway black pudding

    8 slices pancetta

    150g mixed organic salad leaves

    20g picked herbs - flat parsley, dill, coriander

    5ml lemon juice

    20ml extra virgin olive oil

    4 tbsp crème fraîche

    Maldon salt

    freshly milled black pepper




    Method
    Preheat your oven to 200C/gas 6. Lay the slices of pancetta onto a tray lined with baking paper and pop them into the oven to cook until crisp. Remove from the oven but leave it on.

    Next, heat a griddle pan and feel with your hand just over the pan for a good ambient heat. Brush the scallops with a little sunflower oil and a little of the clear fat from the pancetta tray.

    Place four oiled scallops into the hot griddle pan and sprinkle them with a couple of grains of sea salt and a small squeeze of lemon.

    Cook for a minute, then, using tongs, turn them through 90 degrees and leave for another minute, so that you end up with a criss-cross pattern from the griddle pan on each scallop. Turn them over and repeat the process. Total cooking time is 4 minutes. Remove them to a warm tray and cook the second batch. (The remaining 2 are there in case you had any mishaps during the shucking process. If you didn't then you've got 2 bonus scallops!)

    Once the scallops are all ready, place them on the warm tray. Reheat the pan and remove the skin from the black pudding slices before brushing with oil and cooking for a minute or two on both sides.

    Notes

    To serve: Mix the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl and toss the leaves and herbs in a little of the dressing. Pass the tray of scallops and black pudding through the oven for a minute, maximum, to warm through.

    Take 4 warm, not hot, plates and place a round of black pudding in the centre of each. Place 2 scallops on top of each piece, followed by a couple of slices of crispy bacon and a pile of salad.

    Stir the crème fraîche and run a little off the tip of a teaspoon around each plate. Drizzle around a little more of the salad dressing and serve immediately.

  • Courgette and Parmesan Soup Read more
    Serves 4

    Cooking soup on a Falcon hob is always a pleasure. You've got such great controllability of the heat, so you should never burn your base, which is where all the lovely vegetable flavour is concentrated.


    Ingredients
    For the base:
    30g unsalted butter

    1 small onion, sliced

    2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

    500g courgette (about 2), topped, tailed and finely diced

    600ml chicken stock

    To finish:
    40g fresh herbs (basil, parsley etc) roughly chopped

    100g freshly grated Parmesan

    pinch Maldon sea salt

    few turns freshly ground black pepper

    To serve:
    4tsp tapenade (see below)

    freshly ground black pepper

    finely grated Parmesan

    olive oil

    basil leaves

    For the tapenade:
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

    100g anchovy fillets

    100g salted capers, rinsed and drained

    100g black olives (pitted)

    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    squeeze of lemon juice

    Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper




    Method
    First make the tapenade. Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor until you have a coarse paste. Add the olive oil and whizz again. Add lemon juice to taste and scrape out into a jar, smooth down the surface and cover with a thin layer of olive oil. This will keep in the fridge for about 10 days, or can be frozen for up to six months.

    To make the soup base, heat a large, thick-based pan on a low to medium heat. The large middle ring on my 1092 induction is good for this. Melt the butter in the pan and add the sliced onions. Stir with a heat-proof spatula, and leave to sweat for a few minutes. Watch the pan temperature; too hot and your butter may burn and the onions will caramelize and colour. The pan should make a very gentle sizzle noise. The great thing with Falcons is that as soon as you turn the heat down - whether it's gas or induction - it goes down. You won't need to do any frantic lifting pans off the hob.

    Now add the chopped garlic and stir to combine. Keep the pan on a low heat and sweat for a few minutes more. When the onions have softened and turned a pale golden colour, turn up the heat and toss in the courgettes. Make sure that everything is nicely stirred around. Add the chicken stock and leave to come up to the boil - it won't take long on a Falcon hob. Don't season at this stage. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until the courgette is tender.

    Chop the herbs and add them to the pan. Stir them in and then leave to simmer for about 2 minutes to infuse the flavours and bring out the vibrancy of the green colour. When ready, the herbs will go nice and dark.

    Ladle the soup into a high-speed blender - don't fill it more than 3/4 full. Season the soup with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of Maldon sea salt. Flick the blender on and off a couple of times quickly to release some of the steam, then switch it on low before turning it all the way up to maximum. Blend for a couple of minutes; you'll really start to see the colour coming out of the herbs.

    Add the Parmesan, and flick on an off again then turn on full for just a couple of seconds to combine.

    Take four soup bowls and half fill with the soup. Dod a teaspoon of tapenade into the centre, finely grate more Parmesan over the top, add a couple of turns of black pepper, dribble on a little olive oil, and garnish with a wee bit of basil. Serve immediately.

  • Salt and pepper squid with stir fried vegetables Read more
    Serves 4

    "I'm not quite sure why, but dry frying salt and pepper together produces a really wonderful aromatic flavour that's more than just salt and pepper. Don't overcrowd the pan when deep-frying or the pieces will stick together, and by the time the rings are golden t, the squid will be overcooked and rubbery. Now I know that I don't really have to say this, but I'm going to. Don't use frozen squid- but of course you wouldn't! It would be quite in order to serve wedges of lemon to squeeze over the squid." Courtesy of Nick Nairn


    Ingredients
    225g/8oz cleaned squid

    1 ½ tsp Maldon salt

    2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

    Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

    2 tbsp self-raising flour.

    For the stir-fried vegetables:
    50g/2oz mangetout peas

    50g/2oz piece red pepper

    2 spring onions, chopped

    2 tbsp sunflower oil


    1 tsp finely chopped root ginger

    1 tsp finely chopped garlic

    50g/2oz fresh beansprouts

    2 tsp Thai fish sauce

    2 tsp lime juice

    1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander




    Method
    Slice the squid across into thin rings and separate the tentacles if large. Heat a dry. Heavy based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the salt and stir it around for a couple of minutes until it begins to look a bit grey. Tip it into a bowl, reheat the pan, than add the Sichuan peppercorns and toss them around until they darken slightly and start to smell aromatic. Grind the salt and peppercorns to a fine powder in a coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar. Pour some oil into a large pan so that it is about one third full and heat it to 190C/375F. Mix the salt and pepper powder with the flour, place it in a plastic bag and add the squid. Give the bag a good shake so that all the pieces of squid become evenly coated in the highly seasoned flour, and then deep fry 5-6 pieces at a time in the hot oil for just 30-45 seconds until crisp and golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon onto a paper lined tray and keep warm in a low oven. For the stir fried vegetables, cut the mange tout peas and the piece of red pepper into strips about the same thickness as the beansprouts. Heat a large, deep frying pan or wok until very hot. Add the oil, onion, ginger and garlic and stir around for a few seconds. Then throw in the mangetout and red pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the beansprouts, fish sauce, lime juice and coriander. Pile the salt and pepper squid to one side of 4 warmed plates, pile a little of the stir-fried vegetables alongside and serve.