Sautéed Fillet of Lamb with Scallops and a Scallop Mousse

2 pairs of best ends of lamb
8 scallops with large roes
8 spinach leaves
1 tbsp. olive oil
15g unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
175ml dry white wine
300ml veal stock
2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
425ml whipping cream

Scallop Mousse:
8-9 (225g/9oz) fresh scallops
½ tsp salt
½  egg white
150ml  whipping cream
20ml dry vermouth

Of all the dishes I ever devised this one has to be the one that I will be remembered for. My signature dish! Or at least one of them. Strangely enough after it appeared in A Feast of Fish 1 I hardly ever had it on the menu again. If a dish is good it will go on and on I suppose it is a bit like the good music from any era, it will always survive no matter how trends alter. At the time I first started putting this dish on my menus, around 1982, an objection to it was always the fact that it combines meat with fish. Not good as far as the purists are concerned I suppose. I would still have that problem today I am sure, but then no one can please everyone all of the time!

The day before, remove the 2 eyes of meat from each pair of best ends; this should give you four strips of meat, 15cm/6 inches long by 4cm/1½-1¾ inches wide at the fat end and 2.5cm/1-1¼ inches at the other. Remove the thin layer of sinew from the eyes of meat. Leave covered until needed.

Scallop Mousse:

Ensure that the scallops are well cleaned and washed, dry thoroughly. Place the white meat into a food processor along with the salt and blend until smooth. Add the egg white and blend again to mix it in thoroughly. Rub this mixture through a sieve into a bowl set on crushed ice. Gradually add two thirds of the cream, and then stir in the vermouth and a little ground pepper. Now test the mousse by dropping a small amount into a pan of water that is just off the boil once cooked test its consistency, if it is very rubbery then add a little more cream and test again until you are satisfied with the final texture.

On the day, pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Shell, trim and wash the scallops, and dry well. Wash the spinach well and blanch in boiling salted water for a few seconds, then refresh in iced water, drain and dry on a cloth. Line eight 40-50ml/1½-2floz buttered moulds with the spinach, leaving an overhang sufficient to fold over to enclose the mousse when full. Fill each mould with the scallop mousse and finish off by folding over the overhanging spinach. Cover each mould with apiece of buttered foil. Cook the scallop mousse moulds in a bain-marie in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove the moulds, and turn up the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5.

Remove the roes from each scallop and set aside. Slice each nut of white meat into 5 slices across the scallop. Cut each eye of lamb across in half, giving two pieces about7.5cm/3 inches long.

Heat the oil and the butter in a frying pan until it sizzles. Season the fillets of lamb and gently sauté, turning once or twice until cooked – this will take 6-8 minutes. Once the lamb is cooked, remove it from the pan, cover and keep warm. Using the fat that is still in the pan, gently fry the slices of scallop meat for 3 seconds each side, and fry the reserved roes for about 5 seconds each side. Remove when cooked, cover and keep warm. Tip off the fat, add the white wine and reduce until there is almost nothing left. Add the veal stock and the tarragon, reduce by half, then pour in the cream and reduce until thickened. Check the seasoning and strain.

To serve, place the lamb and the scallops in the hot oven for about 2 minutes to reheat, then slice each piece of lamb into 6. Divide the sauce out between the plates and lay the sliced lamb in a straight-line just of-centre. Lay 5 slices of scallop next to the lamb and a roe next to that. Tip the mousses out of their moulds, cut a wedge from each one and lay the mousse and the wedge next to the roes. If you have any good leaves of tarragon left then sprinkle a few over the top of the lamb. By serving the dish like this it will produce a triangular effect which will emphasise both the lamb and the scallop mousse. 

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