Somewhat of a luxury food item, but well worth a little extra expense for something truly delicious. Scallops are actually quite versatile, so feel free to put your own spin on this if you’re not too heavy handed with any one ingredient. It can be as simple or complex as you want. As an example, Mike uses just two ingredients. Salt and oil. Gordon Ramsay has a nice cauliflower puree to go with one of his recipes. Why not mix it up!?
Spicy pan seared scallops (serves 4)
3-4 scallops per person (shelled & trimmed)
2-3 dried chilli (bashed)
chinese five spice
zest of one lemon
any green leaf to serve
extra virgin olive oil/vinaigrette for dressing
There’s two things I take from Gordon Ramsay’s video. Slice the scallops length ways in half and when searing don’t use too much olive oil as we don’t want to boil them. We’re looking for a light scorching if anything. Anyway, this is chilli oil we’re using here for an added kick.
Once prepared and cut in half, stick a frying pan on a high heat. Place the scallops on grease proof paper, season with sea salt and toss over the dried chilli and a sprinkle of Chinese five spice. You can tip the grease proof paper at each end to help coat evenly.
Into your hot frying pan, pour enough chilli oil so the scallops won’t stick. Pop them in the pan and caramelize for one minute without moving around or touching them. Turn them over and quickly toss on the lemon zest, cooking for a further 30 seconds. Take off the heat and serve immediately with a green leaf of your choice, dressed in extra virgin olive oil or a vinaigrette.
The wine match
Scallops are very good with Champagne, but that might get a little lost with the spice of this dish. Depending on how hot you want it, you might prefer to opt for a cold beer, but spice aside, we’re dealing with delicate flavours here.
An off-dry/medium Riesling would be the ticket if you like a bit of heat. Being from Clare Valley, The new Monsters Attack Riesling has is also a little restrained which does no harm. Albarino is great seafood wine, the Valdamor Albarino filling that niche comfortably. For me, I would go for the Tabalí Viognier, with that very subtle spice and soft stone fruit flavours, it won’t overpower or be overpowered.
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