My favourite Scottish produce: Jak O'Donnell

Jak O'Donnell, the Glasgow-based Chef/Patron of The Sisters Restaurants, has chosen Scottish seafood as her favourite produce.

Jak O'Donnell, the Glasgow-based Chef/Patron of The Sisters Restaurants, has chosen Scottish seafood as her favourite produce.

Here, she explains why and provides us with a recipe for Scottish hake fillet, Shetland mussels, Mull scallops & lobster cream sauce, showcasing the versatility of Scotland's wonderful seafood.

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Everything we get from Scottish producers is wonderful.

I always find it hard to pick, but our seafood has got to be my ultimate favourite, which, thankfully for once, we are being told to eat more of - I certainly don't have a problem with that.

For the restaurant, we have different fisherman that we use from the west coast for scallops, while most of our white fish is landed in the far north east of Scotland. In fact, Scrabster is my favourite big port for sourcing them.

Our mussels are from Shetland and are available all year round nowadays, while any lobsters we are lucky enough to get come from the Forth.

The North Berwick Hatchery was a great wee find for us, as they have possibly the largest stocks of good quality lobsters which makes such a difference.

There's also a chap who lands his creel boat at Seacliff harbour, that's a sight to behold, watching both him bringing the boat in on the choppy sea. the harbour and beach there are just my favourite places to be.

Scottish hake fillet, Shetland mussels, Mull scallops & lobster cream sauce

Serves 4-6 | Prep 30 mins | Cook 30min


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• 4 160g pieces of hake or cod is great too

• 500g fresh Shetland mussels

• 1 lobster

• 4 scallops shelled & cleaned

• 1 stick celery

• 4 banana shallots

• 1 small leek

• 10g fresh thyme

• 5g fresh rosemary

• 4 cloves garlic

• 50g tomato purée

• 200ml white wine

• 50g butter

• 25ml Scottish rapeseed oil

• 2 litres cold water

• 1 vegetable stock cubes

• 1 litre double cream

• Seasoning

• 1 lemon


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1. Prepare the lobster, cook whole in boiling water for 4-5 minutes depending on the size, then put into ice cold water.

Remove the claws and crack the shells with a rolling pin to remove all the white meat, with the main body of the lobster cut right through the centre to create 2 pieces, remove the whitemeat, set all the meat to one side. Keep all of the shell.

2. With the lobster shell rinse under cold water removing uneatable pieces, the shell is what you will use for the sauce.

3. Roast shell in oven(180c) for 10 mins this helps intensify the flavour.

Peel & wash the celery and leek.

Dice celery, leek, shallot and garlic cloves and sweat in a sauce pan with the butter then add the rosemary & thyme and add the lobster shell & tomato purée. Cook for couple minutes and then add white wine this will deglaze the bottom of the sauce pan, then add the cold water bring to the boil, finally add the vegetable stock cube and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Once simmered, crush with the end of your rolling pin then pass through a fine sieve before passing the liquid through a muslin cloth or cheese cloth into a clean sauce pan.

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5. Put sauce back on the heat bring to the boil add double cream reduce until it becomes thicker.

Season to taste.

(This part of the dish can be done in advance)

6. Heat non stick frying pan with butter and rapeseed oil until it starts to bubble then add hake skin side down, when in the pan season the fish salt and pepper leave the fish to cook until it becomes white half way up the fish then turn over leave for another 5 minutes, set to one side to rest.

At 1 minute before being ready to serve place the scallop into the pan, caramelise one side then turn over and turn off, squeeze the juice of a lemon over all the fish and allow to sit in pan whilst you prepare the sauce.

7. Put the mussels into the lobster sauce, the mussels are cooked when they are completely open, add a hand full of chopped parsley.

8. Spoon sauce into plates dot mussels around leave space for the fish and top with a scallop.

You can use the lobster meat for another dish the next day, as there is so much flavour in this dish you don't need to add it in, use it as a very luxurious next day dinner.