Saturday, 10 November 2012

The perfect Scallops

 I have made no secret of being completely obsessed with seafood, especially scallops. On a recent trip to London I visited the infamous Borough market, the very first thing I noticed was that the air was heady with the scent of garlic, butter and scallops cooking a la plancha. I purchased some fantastic quality french butter and fleur de sel with my scallop mission in mind. I know there are certain combinations that work exceptionally well with with scallops, obviously garlic is one of them, but I thought I would try to emphasise the lovely sweet flavour of the scallops without masking them. A little background warmth of chilli always goes a long way and of course fennel for an aniseed flavour. I never cook scallops in any form of liquid because I feel that they tend to stew and not fry, that is when you end up with rubbery chewy discs. This is the sort of fast food I love, it takes ten minutes to make from start to finish, serve this with crusty bread and you will never be disappointed.

You will need

1/2 kilo of king scallops with the roe on

1 1/2 tsp fleur de sel or maldon salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper
25g of garlic
50g of great quality butter (unsalted)
50g of finely chopped shallots
1 tbsp of olive oil
50g of finely chopped fennel bulb
2 tsp of chopped red chilli
1/2 tsp of lemon zest
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of chopped chives
1 tsp of chopped fennel fronds(the top part of the bulb that looks like Dill)
Firstly season the scallops with the black pepper and 1/2 a teaspoon of the salt, remove the roes and cook them for a shorter amount of time. Crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar, using the remaining salt as an abrasive. Add the butter and the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Place a large frying pan on the hob on a high heat, add the flavoured butter and when the butter is starting to sizzle add the scallops. You do not need to cook the scallops for any more than 2 minutes a side, the scallops should be golden on the outside and wonderfully milky and opaque within. Cook the roes for a minute either side. Serve With crusty bread.
That's it! REALLY!!

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