I know, I know. Scallops are not even remotely affordable if you’re not living in Bretagne, which has never struck me as more unfair than today. Why? Because when I was turning my email account upside down today frantically trying to find the freaking booking confirmation for my next flight I found five(!) emails with mouthwatering seafood pictures, sent by my loving father who was at that time living the high life in what appeared to be Seafood Central.
Anyway, it’s Wednesday, still relatively close to pay day, and you want a treat. I’m not gonna judge you. In fact, I’m going to encourage you. You deserve that treat. Go buy some scallops.
And while you’re at it, also get some saffron, which you’ll need for this truly decadent feast. Also, a bottle of white wine. A good one. You’ll not only need it for the sauce, you’ll also want it to look stately enough to impress whoever you invited to share this luxurious dish with you.*
Scallops too expensive? Try a white firm-fleshed sustainable(!) fish instead, and cut the fillet in scallop-sized pieces.
Ever so slightly adapted from the L.A. Times, whose use of 250g butter I just can’t approve of, never mind the rich, melting mouthfeel it lends to the sauce.
Firstly, prepare the scallops. Combine a couple tbsp flour with 2 tsp oregano and the zest of a lime in a shallow dish. Toss the scallops to coat them, salt and pepper.
Put half a shallot, chopped very finely, in a pan with a little olive oil. We don’t want any of this Maillard reaction thing going on, so don’t brown it, just let it turn translucent and add a glass of wine. Add a pinch of saffron and a kaffir lime leaf (contrary to what the L.A. Times thinks, I find the kaffir lime leaf absolutely essential). Let the wine reduce by half, then whisk a tsp cream into it, 2 tsp butter, salt, pepper, and let it simmer until you like the consistency. Fry the scallops for a skint minute per side, pour the sauce over them and serve with a slice of lemon or lime and some bread to soak up the sauce.
(pic to follow)
* Kept it all to yourself, did you? It’s okay, I won’t tell. While you’re at it, have a glass of wine as well. Go on, you’re just helping the scallops feel at home in your belly.