Food & DrinkRecipes

Dundon's Kitchen: Scallops in seashell & vanilla cronuts

RecipesBy Kevin Dundon
Delicious: Scallops in a seashell
Delicious: Scallops in a seashell

t’s not every day you are going to have scallops - so when you do, make them special.

As with most shellfish, there can be confusion on how best to cook them. I say keep it simple.
Scallops are delicate and light and need very little cooking, and very little to be added to them. They can even be thinly sliced and eaten ceviche. Buy your scallops and shellfish from a reputable source, and ensure that they are well chilled or on ice when purchasing. Shellfish perishes quickly, so don’t use after its use-by date.
 On a recent visit to the US, I noticed a queue at a bakery where people queued for about 20 minutes to buy cronuts. A cronut is a cross between a croissant and doughnut, deep fried and dusted in sugar. I queued, enjoyed, and now like to make my own.
The process for making these beauts is to start the dough at least 24 hours in advance as proving and chilling are the key to success.
For dessert, I like to serve these with some custard, or for a real indulgent treat, dip these in chocolate sauce. I dare you just to eat one. 
Scallops in seashell (Serves 4)
Queen scallops are available at their best from August to November. King scallops are available all year around and are larger than queens.
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 125g cockles, cleaned
  • 150ml of white wine
  • 50g butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 125ml cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 500g flour
  • Water
  • ½ lemon zest
  • 1 egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1tsp milk)
  • 4 large scallops
  • 4 scallops shells (shell intact), cleaned
  • 1tbsp oregano leaves, finely chopped
  1. In a pan, over high heat, drizzle some oil. When the oil is smoking hot, pour the cockles in the pan, add the white wine, cover and shake over the heat for one to two minutes.
  2. Drain the cockles into a colander, keeping the juice in a seperate bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a second saucepan, add the shallots and cook over a low heat for two to three minutes.
  4. Pour in the cooking juice and the cream and simmer until it has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and keep aside until needed. Season with salt and pepper. Return the cockles to the sauce.
  5. Then prepare the dough to seal the shells together by mixing flour, water, salt and lemon zest until the mixture is the texture of bread dough.
  6. Sear the scallops in a very hot pan for approx 30 seconds on one side. Remove from the heat immediately.
  7. Place the four base shells on to a baking tray, then put a seared scallop (seared side up) on each shell. Add some sauce. Check the seasoning and place the remaining shells on top of the scallop mixture.
  8. Seal the two shells with the dough and brush with egg wash and bake for 5 minutes.

Vanilla Cronuts (Makes 10)

  • 250g strong flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeded
  • 2g salt
  • 5g fast active dried yeast
  • 165g butter, cold, cubed
  • 85ml milk, at room temp
  • 55ml water, at room temp
  • 2 litres sunflower oil
  • 100g vanilla sugar
  • Custard or chocolate sauce
  1. In a bowl, place the strong flour, caster sugar, vanilla seeds, salt and dried yeast and mix to combine. Rub the butter in the flour mixture without over processing.
  2. Pour in the milk and water and bring the mixture together. Knead on a lightly-floured surface a few times to form rather lumpy dough. Cover in clingfilm and refrigerate for two to three hours.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly-floured work surface and roll into a rectangle, approximately 40 by 20cm, then fold the pastry in three by bringing the right side into the centre, then overlapping with the left side dough. Rotate and repeat the above process then transfer to the fridge to keep the butter and pastry at the same consistency.
  4. Remove from the fridge after 20 minutes, then repeat the rolling and folding three more times (without chilling in between).
  5. Wrap loosely in clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
  6. The next morning, on a lightly-floured surface, roll the croissant dough to approximately 1cm thick. Cut the pastry with using a pastry cutter about 8cm diameter, and cut out the centre with a 2cm diameter cutter.
  7. Place the cronut on an large oiled baking tray and leave to prove at room temperature for about 90 minutes, until doubled in volume.
  8. Heat the deep-fat fryer to 160°C and deep-fry the pastries two to three at a time for three-and-a-half to four minutes, until golden and fluffy. Turn them over halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  9. Drain well on kitchen paper and dip the tops in the vanilla sugar. Leave to cool completely then serve either on their own or with some custard or chocolate sauce.