Introduction: Scallops With Sweet & Spicy Pepper Sauce
I have a love of seafood, sadly the EPO (Entertainment Prevention Officer / the other half) is not quite so keen. When I do get the opportunity to eat seafood I do so with great gusto. I happened to be passing the fishmongers today and they had a really great offer on scallops, which are one of my favourites.
After spending some time convincing the EPO that she really needed to eat macaroni cheese for dinner I made my purchase and immediately started thinking about how I would cook these little beauties.
I'm a big fan of spicy foods and am always experimenting. Realising I had some passata and chorizo left in the fridge after last nights 'Bloody Bull' I concocted the following recipe.
I was really happy with the results, it makes a perfect starter and can be presented very formally if you wish. The sauce would probably go well with other fish and grilled meats too.
Step 1: The Ingredients & Equipment
This recipe will serve 2 as a starter, and should only take less than 20 minutes to cook if you're prepared
You could make the sauce even a day in advance and just warm it through if you were cooking for guests, so you'd just need 5 minutes to cook the scallops and you're ready to go!
6 - 10 Scallops, mine were already shelled, but fresh in the shell would have been even better
Chorizo, preferably raw but cured will do as well
For the Sauce:
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/3 - 1/2 red bell pepper, or any sweet red pepper
Worcestershire sauce ( a good dash to taste)
Hot pepper sauce ( depending how hot you like it)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Paprika
2 tsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
some Olive oil or flavourless oil (such as vegetable, sunflower etc)
a small knob of butter
Some salad leaves to serve
A heat sauce
Kitchen utensils for stirring and flipping the scallops, serving the sauce etc.
A hand blender ( if you dont have one chop the veggies fine and serve as a slightly chunky sauce)
2 smart plates to serve
Step 2: Making the Sauce
- Chop the garlic, onion and pepper. I went for fine dice, but if you're blending the sauce chunky is fine.
- Gently fry to onion in the saucepan with a little oil until it starts to go translucent, then add the garlic and pepper. (don't add the garlic with the onion or it will cook to quickly, burn and make the sauce a little bitter) cook until the veggies have softened.
- Add all the other sauce ingredients, stir thoroughly, bring to a gentle simmer for 5-10 minutes or so until slightly reduced.
- Blend the sauce with a hand blender
Step 3: Cook the Chorizo & Scallops
- If they're in the shell you will need to open them and take them out
- remove the coral and the grey membrane around the main meat (the corals can be saved to use for a sauce, if you like)
- Rinse the scallop meats under a running tap then pat dry with kitchen paper
- Chop the Chorizo into small dice, or fine discs
- Feed the scraps to your cat if she's hassling you for attenton/food
- Put some oil and butter into the frying pan over a medium high heat (the oil will stop the butter burning to quickly)
- Add the chorizo and fry until the oils are released and the chorizo is starting to brown, then remove the chorizo and drain on kitchen paper.
- In the same pan you now add the Scallops to the oil, which is now flavoured with the Chorizo. Fry the Scallops for 30secs-2mins on each side, depending how well cooked you like them. don't overcook them, or they will be like little rubber bullets.
Step 4: Plate Up Your Meal
How I plated my dish
- Start with a pile of small mixed salad leaves and shredded beetroot off centre
- Place 3 - 5 teaspoon dollops of the sauce around the salad leaves
- Carefully put a cooked scallop on top of each dollop
- Sprinkle the chorizo around and on top of the scallops
Feel free to vary the recipe, you may fancy replacing the Chorizo with Black Pudding, cripsy Prosciutto or bacon for example