Summer and seafood go hand in hand, and this sophisticated but simple starter is worth sharing.
Created by Kingland group executive chef Melissa Dixon, who designed the menus for Bistro on Hermitage, James Estate, Maccoa Restaurant at Terrigal’s The Clan and the Kingland Yacht, this dish not only looks great but is full of flavour.
Seared scallops, hazelnuts, burnt butter and finger lime. Serves four.
12 scallops on the half shell
1 tbs olive oil
60g hazelnuts, roughly crushed
60g unsalted butter
half bunch chopped chives
1 or 2 finger limes
1. Remove scallops from their shells. Give the shells a quick wash under the tap, dry and place three on each plate.
2. Melt butter in a small saucepan and then add hazelnuts. Cook the hazelnuts (stirring) in the butter until the butter bubbles, froths and starts to brown.
3. Remove saucepan from heat and continue to stir the hazelnuts until the butter froth subsides. Season with salt and pepper. Leave off the heat to one side until needed.
4. Cut finger limes in half and squeeze out caviar; set aside.
5. Place a large heavy-based non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and heat oil. Place scallops in the pan and cook on one side until brown, then turn and cook until just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook your scallops or they will end up quite rubbery.
6. You want your pan to be hot when adding the scallops so they start to sear as soon as they are placed in it. Don’t overcrowd the pan as the scallops will sweat instead of sear. If the pan isn’t large enough to take all 12 scallops at once, with plenty of room around each scallop, cook them in two batches.
7. Remove scallops from pan once cooked and set aside a paper towel.
8. Place a decent spoonful of hazelnuts on each scallop shell. Top with a scallop and then drizzle with the brown butter. Sprinkle with chives and finish them off with the caviar from the finger limes.
9. Slice leftover finger lime and arrange around scallops for extra garnish.
Love a lamb
Australia Day is fast approaching but on January 26 Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary at Laguna will not be grilling lamb on the barbecue. Instead, they are hosting their annual Love A Lamb Day, where lambs are the guests of honour and not the main course. At the cruelty-free event, 11am to 3pm, you can meet the rescue animals and enjoy a picnic lunch. Register at wherepigsfly.org.
Oma’s Kitchen are back in business and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night throughout January, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, a pork knuckle sharing platter for two is available for $60. This includes two glasses of wine or 330ml of beer on tap. Bookings are essential by phoning 4927 5151.
Wine and oysters
Bago Vineyard, just outside Port Macquarie, is hosting a live music, food and wine event this Sunday, January 14. The Cedar Creek Band will provide the tunes; Tunstead Oysters will be shucking on-site, all day; cheese platters and rice paper wraps will be available at the cellar door; and the “chocolate room” will be open for business. Or, you can pack a picnic and set up on the grass for the day. The Bago Maze will be open.
Uber Thai Newcastle, opened by Guitar Salacheep two years ago, has changed hands and is now under the Thai Square umbrella. Salacheep, who prepares modern Thai street food using centuries-old cooking methods, thanked customers for their support and encouraged them to visit Uber Thai in Surry Hills.
The Gunyah Hotel at Belmont is going all out for the upcoming Australia Day weekend. The festivities kick off on January 25 (Australia Day eve) with drinks specials and, if you feel like it, an Aussie dress code. The following day an Australia Day Party will feature $5 tinnies, thong throwing, wheelie bin races, car park cricket and prizes up for grabs. Thongs and singlets acceptable. And on January 28 a Family Fun Day is being held. The hotel’s car park will be transformed into a playground with a giant dual-lane slide, jumping castle and face painting.
Car park cricket
The Mattara Hotel at Charlestown is also celebrating with an Aus Day Carpark Event on January 26. There will be face painting, a jumping castle, live entertainment, a sausage sizzle and car park cricket.
Our Taste of Greece is open from noon this Sunday, January 14, at Dixon Park Surf Club. Phone 0433 330 746 to book a table.
Babak (Bob) Abbaszadeh and his wife Farnaz, owners of The Persian Place, are the proud parents of a baby girl, Yara. She is their first child. And congratulations also go to The Happy Wombat’s Luke and Louise Tilse on the birth of their son, Artie. Charlie Tilse now has a baby brother and, if a recent family photo is anything to go by, the little fellow is thrilled.
Villa Du Pays at Leogate Estate Wines is bringing back its Feast Night on the first Thursday of every month. The first feast is on February 1 and the theme is Texas Smoke House. Tickets cost $59 per person by phoning 4998 7499 and include canapes on arrival. The main course is bourbon-smoked sticky beef brisket with charred sweetcorn, house pickles and smoky cherry BBQ sauce. Yum.
The Cancer Council has launched a new website to help parents prepare healthy school lunches for children.
The Healthy Lunch Box website (healthylunchbox.com.au) includes simple, tasty recipes and ideas for lunches, healthy snacks and family meals.
It also features an interactive lunch-box builder that enables parents and their kids to plan a healthy lunch box at home, or on the move with their smartphone or tablet.
Cancer Council research found only 7 per cent of Australian children were eating enough vegetables and 22 per cent of children were overweight or obese.
Adding fruit and vegetables to the lunch box every day is a simple way to ensure children get the benefits of eating a healthy and balanced diet.