Essex Road Recipes

By Kay Scorah

A collection of 50 improvised recipes inspired by Islington’s independent food shops

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Mystery shopper and spicy scallops

First, big thank you to all you lovely supporters, and please continue to spread the word.

Here's a brand new recipe..

An anonymous foodie left a pickled chestnut in the Market Garden recently, with instructions for them to give it to me and challenge me to invent a recipe around it.... then I spied scallops in Steve Hatt’s window, and from that came this.  I added a little of the chestnut, chopped very finely, to the breadcrumb mix. If you don’t have a mysterious chestnut donor in your neighbourhood, the recipe will be equally lovely without it.

Ingredients for 4 people:

16 scallops.

(I never trim the roe – the orange bit – off scallops because I’m lucky enough to shop somewhere where I know they are really fresh and the roe will taste good. However, if there’s any chance that your scallops have been out of the sea for more than a couple of days, the roe can taste a bit strong so you might want to trim it off).

Marinate the scallops in the juice of 1 lemon for about an hour before cooking, turning them over occasionally.

150g breadcrumbs mixed with 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, 3 whole cloves smashed to dust in a pestle and mortar, 1/2 a finely chopped pickled chestnut, a pinch of salt and a shake of black pepper. Spread this mix out on a big plate.

1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil.

1 small red chilli chopped very finely

3 cloves garlic, chopped very finely

1 tbsp soy sauce.

What to do, roughly speaking:

Take the scallops out of the lemon juice, dry them slightly by placing them on kitchen paper, and then coat them in the breadcrumb, chilli flake, cloves, chestnut, salt and pepper mix.

Heat the mixed olive and sesame oil in a large frying pan until it begins to smoke, turn the heat down a little and add the garlic and chilli. Fry for a couple of minutes. The heat is still high, but not so high as to start a fire. Obviously.

Gently place the breadcrumbed scallops in the frying pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Carefully turn them over, add the soy sauce and cook for another 2 minutes. A lot of the breadcrumb mix will fall off but don’t worry about that, just scoop it onto the top of the scallops as you serve them with crunchy green vegetables and rice.



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