Diving for your dinner!

Chef Steven Saunders, star of Ready Steady Cook and proprietor of The Little Geranium Restaurant in La Cala, on how to exact revenge on scallops

LAST UPDATED: 4 Jul, 2015 @ 20:11
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flowerpower3YEARS ago I went SCUBA diving in the Maldives and as a treat the divers decided to take me scallop diving.

You can’t imagine my excitement when I saw these little devils relaxing at the bottom of the sea, like the English basking in the sunshine with their arms behind their heads. This is easy, I thought,  just dive down and grab the little blighters.

What I didn’t account for is that somewhere in their complex system they have sensors and as I went in for the scoop, they slid away from me like chattering false teeth!

I returned to the surface ashamed and empty-netted.  The masters of diving got quite a few, I got none!  So since then whenever I have any opportunity to buy dived scallops, I do, just to get my own back! After all, revenge is a dish best served with Pimienta Rosa…

Here is a signature recipe of mine straight from our menu at The Little Geranium, La Cala, as it is Michele’s favourite dish it’s not likely to ever come off the menu!

Hand Dived Scallops with Pimienta Rosa

Ingredients for four

16 large hand-dived scallops (You can get them from the food market in Malaga)

1 punnet of padron peppers (optional)

1 whole chorizo piquante cut into small slices

1 heaped tablespoon of pink peppercorns (Pimienta Rosa)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon of honey

Sprig of fresh basil

A small amount of Rocket leaves  (optional)

50 grms of salted butter

1 whole lemon cut in halves

A little light olive oil for cooking

Seasoning, Maldon salt and pinch of white pepper

Method

  1.     Ensure the scallops are cleaned well and remove the coral carefully. (You can then reserve the coral and make a lovely fish stock from them, or if you prefer you can fry them in a hot pan with a little butter and serve as a garnish to this dish)
  2.     Make the dressing by mixing the extra virgin olive oil with the juice of 1 lemon and the honey and warm gently in a small saucepan. Add the pink peppercorns and stir. Season and simmer on a low heat for 5 mins
  3.     Heat a heavy frying pan on a high heat until red hot, then add the chorizo slices and colour them, usually for 1 minute. Now add the padron peppers and season with flakes of salt.
  4.     Remove and set aside. Wipe the pan clean with tissue and return to a high heat
  5.     Drizzle a little olive oil into the pan and add the fresh king scallops, season with white pepper and a little salt. Don’t move or turn the scallops, leave them until you can see that they are just colouring underneath, (1 minute) now add the butter which will burn a little and help colour, flavor and season the scallops.  Keep the heat high
  6.     Now turn the scallops and leave for 30 seconds only, being careful not to overcook them. Remove onto a clean board and rest them. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over them.
  7.     Serve 4 scallops per person and drop on the peppers and the chorizo (Use a porcelain white pasta style bowl for each person or even use a large platter and place them in the centre of the table).

8.     Pour over the peppercorn dressing and garnish with some small sprigs of fresh basil and a few rocket leaves. Enjoy them with some lightly cooked fresh Spanish Asparagus and a crunchy salad.



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