Saturday, 29 August 2009

scallops with a pumpkin seed, chilli and coriander sauce


a happy accident, this. one of those dishes that comes together at the last minute, thanks to my well-stocked pantry and the seemingly ever-present stash of fresh herbs in the fridge. oh to have a garden....

it's a rick stein recipe - sort of. cooking is quite democratic in that respect - it's pretty rare that a recipe is actually someone's. more often, it's a permutation of an already existing thing. or just a downright copy in a i-found-it-first kind of a way. look at jamie oliver - he's made a career out of anglicising italian food.

rick's scallops were grilled and his sauce had spring onions and possibly some other stuff in it. but this pared-down version worked perfectly and it was one of the nicest scallop dishes i've ever made. the sauce could be served with other seafood, i think - flash fried squid, or even some nice white fish.

SCALLOPS WITH A PUMPKIN SEED, CHILLI AND CORIANDER SAUCE
for two

enough scallops for two people - depends on how greedy you are and whether it's a starter or a main
25g pumpkin seeds
1 green chilli (or half if you don't like thinks too hot), deseeded
a handful of coriander leaves (i chucked in the stalks too, for good measure)
1 small garlic clove
a squeeze of lime
a small wedge of parmesan - smaller than a cherry tomato (i know, i know, i can't think of a better comparison)
olive oil
a small knob of butter
seasoning

chuck everything except oil in a food processor and whizz until almost smooth. a bit of seed crunch is quite nice. add the oil - maybe a couple of tablespoons, and pulse once or twice just to mix.

melt the oil with the butter in a pan and, when hot, fry the scallops for a couple of minutes on each side. much depends on their side - just don't overcook them. remove from the pan and keep warm.

in the same pan, put all the pumpkin sauce and fry on medium heat - don't burn - for a couple of minutes. pour the sauce over the scallops and season with sea salt.

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