Oh yes, I do realise that I still owe you a review of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon where we had a most fantastic lunch on our recent trip to Paris... maybe in the hope that, until I blog about it, the great aftertaste will keep on tickling my tastebuds, reminding me of what a fabulous meal we had that cold, sunny day in December.
There's nothing wrong with feeling inspired, though, and trying to recreate some of what we had there... the day after we got back, I happened to find these marvellous oblong dishes (irresistibly cheap at Tesco's). And I confess I sinned. Let me explain:
Since we're going to be moving in about a months' time, I made a promise not to buy any new things until then, rather throw away a plethora of kitchen utensils that I once thought indispensible, but haven't used since then - but I saw these beauties, inspected them longingly and before I knew it, they were in my shopping trolley already.
Given that I hadn't even managed to stick to my promise for much more than a week, the least I could do was prove that they were something I'd be using often... this is the second time I bring them out in two months, so at the moment, they score much better than the pasta machine, the breadmaker, the "lean mean grilling machine", the egg poacher and the selection of retired mugs collected on travels near and far, which I kept just in case we had more people round than proper mugs (we have 16 of those, though, so are unlikely to ever run out!)... so maybe, just maybe, those long plates will accompany us into our new abode.
The scallop carpaccio we had was marvellous - melt-in-the-mouth slivers of a whiter than white mollusc, drizzled with French olive oil (which, in my opinion, is the very best in the world) and lemon juice, scattered with spring onion and poppyseeds. That's what I love about Robuchon's cooking - it's so simple, using the best ingredients you can get, not fussing about with them and letting the individual flavours all play up their strengths. Sigh! But if that was his only secret, we'd all be famous chefs by now...
Scallop carpaccio à la Robuchon
(serves 2 as a starter)
4 king scallops
4 slim spring onions
2 tbsp poppyseeds
4 tbsp good quality olive oil
4 tbsp fresh lime juice
Clean the scallops, removing the muscle and gonads (aka: the orange bit) carefully and padding the white flesh dry. Slice thinly horizontally, no more than 3 mm thick. Arrange on plates in layers.
Wash the spring onions and slice thinly. Scatter over the plates. Toast the poppyseeds in a pan until fragrant, then sprinkle onto the scallops in a 2 cm line lengthways. Drizzle with the olive oil and lime juice and serve immediately, with a fresh, crusty baguette to mop up the juices.