Tuesday, October 30, 2012
To the sea
If you've read this blog for any length of time, you'd know I'm a pretty big fan of English food writer Nigel Slater. (See what I mean?) I have a number of his cookbooks (I'm looking forward to the second volume of his Kitchen Diaries series) and, thanks to the wonders of file-sharing, D. and I have been enjoying scattered episodes of his BBC cooking shows Simple Suppers and Simple Cooking. These programmes really highlight the combination of simplicity and inventiveness that I find so appealing about his recipes. Plus, his expansive, well-lit and mimimalist kitchen never fails to inspire pangs of envy.
This recipe was from an episode of Simple Cooking in which Slater tries out variations on the theme of "surf and turf." It's not actually his recipe; rather it comes from a fisherman featured on the show who prepared this right on the back of his boat using scallops just plucked from the seabed. It looked amazing, so we had to give it a shot.
Being miles from the ocean means procuring fresh seafood has usually been a hit-and-miss proposition for us, but that improved with the recent opening in our neighbourhood of an honest-to-God fishmonger. Since Del la Mer arrived, we've eaten more seafood than, well, ever before. That usually means salmon or whitefish; this was our first go at any kind of molluslk (we used the big sea scallops; four was enough to make this a decent main course for two, though it would also work as a first course for four). If you can get a hold of good, fresh seafood, you will want to give this a try: the meaty scallops, spicy sausage and chili, fresh onion and mellowing sweetness of honey all come together in a really remarkable way.
Scallops and chorizo with chili and honey
3 Spanish chorizo sausages (the dried kind), sliced into rounds
4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
2 red chillies, thickly sliced
4 sea scallops
2 tbsp runny honey
Heat a heavy skillet or grill pan over a high heat. Fry the chorizo until it is browned and some of the juices are running in the pan. Add the spring onion and chilli and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the scallops and fry for 2-3 minutes on either side or until cooked through. Drizzle with the runny honey and stir to coat. Divide and serve.