It was a dish that came together in stages. There was no ‘vision’ of putting all these ingredients into one dish but rather buying them separately and then considering whether they’d go together. I often buy little tubs of chopped pancetta, which usually goes into my Bolognese ragù, but sometimes with mushrooms or just tomatoes for a pasta sauce. When I saw similar little packets of chorizo in my local M&S Simply Food, I impulsively thought – Oh those might be useful. But they stayed in the fridge untouched for a couple of weeks. Then, after my trip to Cornwall and eating some scallops (which I’ve always loved but rarely buy), I was again caught by the sight of a pack of them in M&S. Remembering how my dad used to often cook scallops with bacon, I thought, Well maybe scallops might go well with chorizo. So I gave it a go. And am very glad I did!
This morning I started off by looking for some celeriac to make a purée to act as a base to the dish, but couldn’t find any (despite it being in season), so I settled on some baking potatoes instead, which I would blend with a generous amount of butter and milk to make a silky smooth soft purée. Then I thought about a sauce. I felt the dish needed some kind of sauce. Then, with the Spanish chorizo in mind, I decided the lovely roasted sweet red pepper sauce I made recently to go with sea bass, would work perfectly with the scallops and chorizo.
I made the sauce earlier in the day and kept it in the fridge but the cooking of the scallops and chorizo was last minute as both cook really quickly. The potato purée was made just before and kept warm so it was ready to go once the rest was cooked.
Scallops with Chorizo & Red Pepper Sauce – Serves One
- 6 scallops
- 30g diced chorizo
- 1 large baking potato
- a little butter and milk
- a little extra virgin olive oil
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- sea salt & pepper
Make the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce using the instructions in my last post: click here. It needs to be made at least an hour or so in advance.
Before you start cooking the chorizo and scallops, boil the potato (I chose a large one, enough for one portion, but two or three smaller ones depending on size). Once tender, drain and then add a good dollop of butter and generous splash of milk. Mix with a stick blender to get a smooth purée. Keep warm.
Fry the chorizo in a pan for just two or three minutes, stirring frequently, until colouring and cooked through. Push to one side and add the scallops. Cook the scallops for a couple of minutes (mine were quite small, but big ones may take a little longer). Turn once nicely caramelised underneath and cook for another couple of minutes. It’s important not to overcook scallops or they toughen – you want them tender and sweet.
Spoon the potato purée into the bottom of a warm serving dish. Smooth across. Then add the cooked chorizo and put the scallops on top.
Now spoon over some of the sweet pepper sauce. You’ll only need a little of it but it will keep in the fridge for two or three days and is wonderful added to pasta sauces or as a dip for roasted potatoes or chips. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil to serve.
I served it with a green salad on the side. It was a gorgeous dish; really special – especially for a midweek supper! I loved the way the different textures and flavours came together: the soft, silky potato; the sweet tender scallops; the spicy chorizo and deeply flavoured pepper sauce. What a treat!