As we continue to tuck into more long January evenings at home, a sense of occasion is the perfect thing to add a bit of pizazz to a typical dinner. Our friends at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester have shared this special recipe with us – formulated with a family-size output – so everyone can eat an elevated meal, imparting a bit of escapism to these (seemingly neverending) nights.

Says Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet, 'This dish is based on cauliflower gratin that my grandmother and my mother used to cook when I was a child. It is the perfect comfort dish in winter, thanks to the perfect cauliflower you can find at the grocery between November and February. It is a sharing and convivial recipe for the entire family.' Enjoy!

Sea Scallops With Cauliflower Gratin

Serves six

Preparing the scallops

12 scallops (clean, and keep the skirts aside)

1. Ask your fishmonger to clean the scallops, and remove these from the shell

2. Ask your fishmonger to remove the scallop skirts but to save them, as these will be used in the recipe to create the jus. Wash thoroughly before use.

Egg confit

2 egg yolks
50 gr olive oil
5 gr thyme
5 gr salt
1 clove garlic

1. In a deep pan, gently place the unbroken egg yolks into the olive oil with all the aromatics (thyme, garlic and salt) and gently poach for 15 minutes at a temperature of 65 ̊C (this can be achieved in a warm oven, or on the stove top).

2. Once the egg yolks have cooked for 15 minutes, leave them to cool to room temperature in the olive oil.

3. Gently remove the egg yolks from the olive oil, then strain through a small sieve into a clean bow. Keep aside until ready to use.

Cauliflower chips

1⁄2 head cauliflower
250 gr vegetable oil

1. Using a mandolin, slice large florets to 3mm slivers.

2. In a pan over high heat, bring oil to a temperature of 130 ̊C.

3. Fry the cauliflower chips in the vegetable oil until they become gold in colour.

4. Remove slices to a baking tray; lay flat and keep at 80 ̊C until they are crisp.

Cauliflower crumble

300 gr cauliflower, grated
300 gr grated Comté cheese
5 gr lemon zest
5 gr freshly ground pepper
10 gr flour
15 gr salt

1. Combine the grated cheese and cauliflower, lemon zest, salt, pepper and flour in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, then spread thinly onto a baking tray.

2. Put remaining cheese on top of the mixture, and heat slowly in oven at 80 ̊C until dry and crisp.

Cauliflower purée

1 head cauliflower
1 L milk
1 L cream
50 gr salt
50 gr butter

1. Bring milk and cream to a boil in a sauce pan, add salt.

2. Finely cut the cauliflower and add to the pan. Cook until extremely tender.

3. Remove from pan and blitz in a blender until puréed.

4. Add butter to the purée, then strain through a sieve. Set aside.

Cauliflower condiment

30 gr olive oil
150 gr cauliflower, cut into very small pieces
5 gr salt
60 gr butter
25 gr grated Comté cheese
50 gr hard-boiled egg, cut into small dice
30 gr flour
100 gr milk
3 fine grates of lemon zest
5 gr ground black pepper

1. Make a classic béchamel. In a saucepan, melt half of the butter, then add flour, stirring until a paste forms. Lightly cook for a minute over low heat, being careful not to burn the paste, and then add 100 grams of milk, and continue to stir until the béchamel has thickened considerably.

2. Warm olive oil in a separate pan and add cauliflower, lightly roasting in the oil until it turns golden, then add butter.

3. Blot excess fat from pan, and add grated Comté. Cook until the cheese is golden, stirring constantly.

4. Remove cauliflower from heat and stir in béchamel, salt, lemon zest and hard-boiled egg.

5. Put into piping bag in preparation to stuff cauliflower as below.

Stuffed cauliflower

1 large head of cauliflower
2 L milk
50 gr salt
18 thin slices of Comté

1. Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan and add salt.

2. Cut the cauliflower into large florets, then cook in milk until tender.

3. Allow the cauliflower to become malleable and the florets to open – these spaces will later be stuffed.

4. When cooked, remove cauliflower from milk and pipe the condiment into the gaps, 'stuffing' the cauliflower.

Scallop Jus

100 gr scallop skirts, cleaned well
300 gr finely chopped cauliflower
100 gr chopped shallots
60 gr white wine
15 gr butter
10 gr olive oil
2 gr ground black pepper
1 gr fennel seeds
2 gr salt
10 gr confit egg yolk, from above
5 gr lemon juice
60 gr cauliflower juice
2 tbsp cauliflower purée

1. Extract the the jus from the scallop skirts by sweating in a hot pan over medium heat. Cover for a couple of minutes, then strain through a sieve.

2. Roast the chopped cauliflower in the olive oil until it starts to caramelize, then add shallots and butter. Cook until golden brown.

3. Add the scallop skirts to the cauliflower, and deglaze with 30 gr of the white wine. Reduce, then add remaining white wine, and reduce by half.

4. Add the jus from the scallop skirts and cauliflower juice and reduce by half. Strain through a sieve, and add a bit of cauliflower purée.

5. Remove from heat and add confit egg yolk. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

To plate

1 large round plate
2 scallops
Confit egg yolk
Cauliflower puree
Cauliflower chips
Stuffed cauliflower
Scallop jus

1. Place two pieces of the stuffed cauliflower onto an oven tray and lay a very thin slice of Comté on top of each floret. Broil until cheese is melted.

2. Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil then add scallop. Allow to brown then flip; quick cooking over high heat is essential so scallop doesn't become rubbery, then season with salt.

3. Scoop two dollops of cauliflower purée onto left side of plate, and top each with a little bit of the egg yolk confit.

4. Lay the broiled cauliflower next to purée, and add the cauliflower crumble on top. Artistically lay the chips around the plate.

5. Plate scallops on top.

Admire your hard work, serve, and enjoy!



To acquire the ingredients for the above recipe, or for a personalised cooking class, please contact your lifestyle manager.