Taking experiments too far

So, pork. When done right, it’s tender, juicy, and packed with flavour. It pairs well with a lot of different things, which makes it a versatile and whimsical meat. Sometimes though, too much of a good thing is a very, very bad thing.

Introducing my dinner:

Seared pork and scallops, roasted hazelnuts, savoy cabbage and green apple ice cream, with a black tea and bittersweet chocolate sauce and granita

If you’re morbidly curious, here’s how I did it.


  • Half a savoy cabbage, washed and leaves separated;
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced;
  • 1tsp dijion mustard;
  • 1 egg yolk;
  • uhh … a dash of whipping cream, I don᾿t remember how much I used, maybe only 50ml? 50–100ml I guess;
  • 250ml freshly brewed loose-leaf black tea (100°C for 3 minutes);
  • 40g bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa);
  • 1 titanium gelatine sheet, soaked for 5 minutes in ice cold water;
  • 1tsp potato flour, mixed with a dash of water until milky;
  • 1tsp raw sugar;
  • 3 pork steaks, approximately 160g each, marinated in Calvados for 1.5 hours;
  • 300g scallops;
  • a handful of roasted hazelnuts, no skins, crushed;

Creating Frankenstein’s monster

  1. Blanch the cabbage, then strain and reserve. Do the same for the apples, then pile into a liquidiser and purée until smooth. Add dijion mustard, egg yolk and cream while still hot, continue to purée for a minute or two while the egg and cream volumise the mixture. Add a touch of salt to taste, and place in the freezer, checking on it every 10 minutes to churn;
  2. Wait for the brewed tea to reach 50°C then add the chocolate in small chunks, stirring until combined. Add the gelatine while in an ice bain-marie, stir, and watch it not thicken. Wonder why it’s not thickening for a while. Pour a thin layer onto a dish and par-freeze. Pour the rest into a pot, add potato flour mixture, the raw sugar, and thicken over low heat. Remove from heat and reserve;
  3. When your ice cream has reached a decent temperature and consistency, make final preparations: lightly salt pork and scallops, then sear pork in a hot pan with olive oil for 1 minute on each side, remove to an oven at 60°C while you cook the scallops (adding a touch more oil,) again, for 1 minute each side;
  4. Plate up: quenelles for ice cream, swirls for black tea and chocolate sauce, add a touch of granita in the big yin-yang spots. Slice and arrange the pork, sprinkle over hazelnuts, and take a photo. Realise you’ve forgotten the scallops, but by the time you decide how you want to arrange them on the plate, the ice cream has melted more and you can’t be bothered taking a photo of the actual finished product anyway. Freshly crack pepper. Eat and try to keep it down.

Enjoy! Be warned: if you try this at home, do so at your own risk.

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