Diver caught Scallops with Lentils and Bacon – Seafood Week 2018

Seafood week

Now I have already posted how much I adore cooking and eating great seafood. You have to excuse me but come on everyone I live on an island. In Jersey we are graced with some of the most amazing seafood you will eat. Now you may positively love lobster or crave freshly picked crab, but my favourite ( astute readers may have guessed already ) is the succulent scallop. So here is my recipe for Diver caught Scallops with Lentils and Bacon. If you visit Jersey you can also choose mackerel in season, skate, and plaice. If you like shellfish then mussels and oysters are grown in the clear waters around the island. In short, an abundance of fish and shellfish.

Scallop on the Shell

Protecting the Marine Environment.

Before I get to the recipe the only scallops you should consider eating are diver caught. Cheaper commercially dredged scallops can cause considerable damage to the seabed. Here is a link about sourcing sustainable fish and seafood. The Marine Stewardship Council helps conserve fishing stocks for the future.

Whenever I cook scallops I always think of the actress Uma Thurman stepping out of a gigantic scallop shell. In one of her earliest roles as Venus in the madcap film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, it is a striking piece of cinematography. The whole scene is beautiful and I like to think that this is a beautiful dish. I’m not the most refined and elegant cook but this is really a simple but stunning recipe. It pairs the sweet scallops and tomatoes with a hint of smoke and saltiness from the bacon. 

Scallops and Lentils

The Wine ChoiceThere are an awful lot of flavours and textures in this dish, so we need a wine that has similar attributes. The strongest flavour on the plate is going to be the bacon but if we choose a red to match solely to that we lose the delicacy and subtle sweetness of the scallops. Likewise, if we match a delicate white purely for the scallops we risk the wine being overpowered by the savoury bacon and sweet tomato flavours. A Sancerre Rosé, made from the Pinot Noir grape, dry with aromas of strawberries and gooseberries covers all the bases.

Scallops with Lentils and Bacon is ideal as a fantastically tasty starter or suitably scintillating summery lunch or supper served with crusty French bread.

Sesame Crusted Scallops with an Asian Style Salad

Sesame Scallops

I adore this recipe for Sesame Crusted Scallops with an Asian Style Salad. I love cooking scallops them and they are most definitely in my top five favourite foods to eat, anytime, anywhere. This recipe is a little different from seared or pan-fried scallops as they are fried in a crust of sesame seeds. The sweet firm flesh of the scallop is a perfect foil for the sweet, sour, salty flavours of the dressing and the crisp Asian inspired salad. The syrup can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, it makes a great dipping sauce for spring rolls and dim sum.

Sesame crusted Scallops with an Asian style Salad                                  serves 4

16 diver caught Scallops ( ask your fishmonger to prepare them )

Sesame Seeds

A good slug of Olive Oil

A large knob of Jersey Butter

2 tablespoons Sesame Oil

Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

for the Asian style Salad

1 large Carrot, washed and peeled

1 bunch Spring Onions, washed and trimmed

1 small bulb of Fennel

1 Red Pepper

1 Green Pepper

1 small tin of Bamboo Shoots, drained

1 small tin Water Chestnuts, drained

100 gr fresh Bean Sprouts

1 Red Chilli, finely sliced

A small handful of Thai Basil or Coriander

Freshly ground Black Pepper

for the Dipping sauce

200 ml Water

100 gr Caster sugar

2 cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely crushed

1 small Red Chilli, finely diced

1 small piece of fresh Ginger ( about 25 gr ) peeled and finely grated

2 stems of Lemon Grass, peeled and crushed

2 tablespoons Fish sauce

2 tablespoons Light Soy Sauce

Zest and juice of 2 Limes

In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan place the prepared chilli, ginger, lemongrass, and garlic. Add the sugar, the juice of two limes, fish sauce, soy and the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes taking care not to caramelise. Reduce to a light syrup. Set aside and allow to thoroughly cool.

Prepare the salad vegetables by slicing the spring onions, carrot, peppers and fennel into fine strips or Julienne. Plunge into a bowl of iced water for ten to fifteen minutes, this will really crisp them up. Thinly slice the water chestnuts. In a large mixing bowl place the lime zest and six to eight tablespoons of the cooled syrup. Grate in a little freshly ground pepper and stir. Thoroughly drain the salad vegetables and dry on kitchen paper.

In a heavy-bottomed frying pan melt the butter and olive oil over a high heat. Season the prepared scallops immediately before cooking and roll in sesame seeds. Place carefully in the pan and sauté for one to two minutes until the seeds are golden brown. Turn over and cook for one more minute. Sprinkle with sesame oil and set aside. Toss all of the salad ingredients in the dressing and add some roughly torn Thai Basil before placing in the center of the serving plate. Place on the scallops, drizzle with a little extra syrup and serve.

Allergens in this recipe are;
Raw Fish  Sesame Seeds  Oyster Milk