Sweet and juicy scallops go great with spicy chorizo and creamy spinach - all finished with a dash of lemon juice and freshly chopped parsley. I've tried scallops in various recipes and this one is the winner for me. It's perfect as an appetiser or light lunch.
Nutrition facts: Scallops are bivalve molluscs with tender meat that doesn't require more than a few minutes of cooking. Apart from being delicious, scallops are some of the healthiest foods. They are high in protein, vitamin B12, iodine, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. Also, they are a great source of choline, magnesium, potassium and omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, this recipe contains almost half of your daily intake of magnesium and potassium!
Tips for the best scallops: You can use both fresh or frozen scallops but make sure it's from a reputable supplier. Fresh scallops should smell like the sea. If they smell fishy, don't buy them. Fresh scallops can be stored in the fridge for up to two days but I prefer to cook mine on the same day. Otherwise, freeze for up to 3 months.
Are scallops sustainable? Scallops in general rank high in sustainability. Although they are more expensive, it's better to get scallops that were hand-caught by divers rather than dredged. Hand-caught scallops tend to be less gritty and it's also a more ecologically friendly harvesting method as it doesn't damage the seabeds.
Nutritional values (per serving):
|of which Saturated||18||grams|
|Magnesium||171||mg (43% RDA)|
|Potassium||959||mg (48% EMR)|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (6.6%), protein (26.6%), fat (66.7%).
Ingredients (makes 5 servings):
- 1 lb raw scallops, raw (450 g/ 16 oz) - depending on the size 2-5 scallops per person
- 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil (you can make your own ghee)
- 2 lb frozen and thawed spinach (900 g) ~ 500 g/ 17 oz after draining
- ½ Spanish chorizo sausage or salami (120 g/ 4.2 oz)
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (90 g/ 3.2 oz)
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp salt (I like pink Himalayan)
- 2-4 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and lemon wedges for garnish
- freshly ground black pepper
When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).
- Prepare the spinach and chorizo. Squeeze any excess water out of the spinach and slice or dice the chorizo sausage.
- Place the chorizo sausage on a hot pan greased with one tablespoon of ghee and cook on medium-high until crisped up for 3-5 minutes. When done, use a slotted spoon and transfer the cooked chorizo into a bowl.
- Prepare the scallops. Wash the scallops under cold running water to remove any gritty parts. There are two edible parts: the main white muscle and the roe (the orange part also known as coral as pictured below).
- The small side-muscle that attaches the scallop to the shell is too tough for consumption and has to be removed and discarded. If you buy scallops with frill and gut, these also have to be removed. Again, clean the scallops under cold running water. Then, halve the scallops widthwise and place the scallops and the roe on a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Season the scallops with salt.
If you need more guidance, this video will show you how to clean and prepare scallops.
- Pan-sear the scallops. Return the pan where you cooked the chorizo to heat. When the pan is hot, add the scallops in a single layer. Cook on one side for about 2 minutes and then flip over and cook for another 2 minutes. If the scallop is stuck to the pan, wait for a few more seconds before flipping. Both sides of the scallops should be seared lightly golden and look opaque when cooked. Do not overcook your scallops or they will become tough and chewy. Once cooked, remove the scallops from the pan and place on a plate.
- Repeat for the remaining batch of scallops and roe. Once all the scallops and roe are cooked, return them to the pan and add the cooked chorizo sausage. Cook for 30-60 seconds just to heat up. When done, transfer into a plate and keep warm near the cooker - do not leave the scallops in the hot pan or they will keep cooking.
- Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the garlic and place in a pan greased with the remaining two tablespoons of ghee. Cook until fragrant while stirring for just a few minutes. Then add the drained spinach and stir well.
- Pour in the cream and cook for just about a minute. Add grated parmesan cheese, mix and take off the heat. When done, set aside.
- Place the creamed spinach on a serving plate, or scallop shells if you have them. Top with scallops and chorizo. Drizzle with fresh lemon and garnish with black pepper and parsley.
If using shells instead of serving plates, make sure to boil them for 2-3 minutes before adding any food on top.