I love scallops. They are light and delectable and though I rarely cook them at home I always order them as a starter when Im out to dinner. On Saturday night my local fishmonger had some fresh ones that looked too good to go past, so I bought 12 and made this dish as a starter for our guests. It is easy, light and looks like restaurant food, so is a great one for entertaining.
I also discovered these great little stock cubes in my local supermarket the other day. They are frozen cubes of freshly made stock that make 125ml each. Great to have in the freezer as I often think I’d like to add a little stock to something, sauces usually, but don’t want to make up a whole 500ml just to add a few spoons. See if you can find them, I will be using mine up so there will be a few recipes that involve them on the way I’m sure!
- 12 scallops (roe on or off is up to you, mine had roe on)
- 12 strips of streaky bacon or pancetta
- 1 glove garlic, minced
- 2 spring onions (salad onion)
- 1 cup garden peas (straight from the freezer!)
- 1 normal bacon rasher, chopped
- 75ml chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons white wine
Make the pea puree first, as it can be reheated easily when the guests arrive. In a frying pan, heat some olive oil and sauté the garlic, sliced spring onions and bacon rasher pieces. Get this nice and brown for a full flavor. Add the cup of peas (frozen is fine, just throw them on in) cook for a further couple of minutes until the peas have a little colour on them too and are heated through. Add the chicken stock and wine and season with lots of cracked pepper. Sautee for a few minutes then remove from the heat.
In a jar/blender jug puree the pea mixture. As always, I like a little texture so don’t let it get to the total baby-food stage. Season with salt and more pepper to taste. Set aside.
Wrap each scallop with a streaky bacon rasher. Heat a little butter in a pan and sauté the scallops. You will need to turn them over 4 ways throughout the cooking so that each side gets browned. It takes longer to cook this way than scallops that have not been wrapped as the heat needs to get through the bacon to the scallop. I like scallops cooked almost through but not rare in the centre. The white part of the scallop will change colour from translucent to a soft white when done.
While the scallops are cooking, heat the pea puree in either the microwave or a small pan. Scoop the puree onto small plates to make a crushed pea base. Lie the scallops on top and drizzle with a good quality olive oil. Lightly pepper. Goes perfectly with a white wine of your choosing. Bon Appetit!