|Pan seared smoked Orkney scallops|
Pan seared Orkney smoked king scallops. Nom, I think of these as 'sea beasties', seems fitting somehow.
I'm not very experienced in cooking scallops, its the kind of thing I order if we're out somewhere and I see them on the menu. So, cooking these, well, its well out of my comfort zone, but I do try new things, just occasionally, especially when no one can see me mess up! However as they're not too expensive and I often see them in our local fishmongers, sometimes I get brave and I give it a go. You see, at the moment I'm home alone and eating what I please!
|Jolly's fish and local produce shop in Orkney|
We've a great local fish shop here in Orkney, its quite nicely called 'Jolly's' - and its a very fine place indeed. Really lives up to its name. So that's where we get our fish. Being on an island means that fish/shellfish and alike is seasonal, local and quite nicely priced. So, its affordable weekly. We don't always have scallops, but at around £3 for a handful, they make a nice treat.
And isn't that one of the most fab signs you'll ever see?
|Jolly's Fabulous Fish/Meat/Local produce shop in Kirkwall, Orkney|
So having collected my scallops (these were smoked, again I've never tried these), and having read lots about cooking said 'sea beasties', I have to say although I read, I mainly ignored all the complicated stuff (especially the bit about patting dry scallops before cooking, I mean seriously WHO has the time to DRY scallops.) So my scallops looked darn fine and not too wet. Very fresh.....
|Plump smoked king scallops|
The main thing seems to be a hot pan, so we dutifully obliged with a hot pan, added a knob of butter and the scallops, hey presto, two minutes each side later, they turn into these gorgeous brutes, less sea monster-ish, more yummy......
|Seared Orkney scallops|
These plump little hooligans were then left to rest for a minute or two whilst I heated up some pre-cooked sushi rice and chopped a bit of salad. Now I love sushi rice and find its sweet seasoned soft texture great with seared fish or shellfish like these scallops. The rice is pre-cooked and seasoned (with a seasoned rice vinegar mix - sushi-su) it doesn't need much in the way of faff, just reheat and shape to please.
|Seasoned sushi rice|
A nice salad is always great with scallops the crunch of the salad goes great with the sweetness of the seafood. The lettuce is home grown too, I'm that thorough (cos I don't spend time DRYING scallops)............and I never dress salad before I eat it, just not a fan.
|Home grown lettuce, tomatoes and mangetout|
So scallops and rice/salad to the plate.....just time for a bit of a 'deglaze' of the scallop pan.
|Seared smoked Orkney scallops with sushi rice and salad|
Basically, to my mind a 'deglaze' of a pan just means lob some liquid into a pan you've just cooked your grub in to get all those juices on your plate. So in keeping with my love of spice I put a tiny tot of my own chilli sauce in the pan and a wee glug of water - a fizz and a pop or two and hey presto a nice tangy rich sweet and spicy sauce.
|Pan seared smoked scallops, salad, sushi rice with a sweet smoked chilli reduction|
Just a tot mind, you don't want anything interfering with the sweet taste of a seared scallop. The smokiness of the sweet scallop perfectly compliments each other. Salad adding crunch (and you know you feel virtuous because of the 'health' aspect) and the sweet sticky sushi rice absorbs all that gorgeous flavour.
So, if indulging with something unfamiliar give it a go (preferably in private, then if its great you can wow folks at a later date). Read a bit, ignore most of it and give it a go!
The worst that can happen is that you burn the pan, sometimes it's good to get out of your comfort zone.
Until next time, be daring! Happy scoffing.