Our scallop season has opened and I watch
the pug-nosed old sea dogs
slinking home with bellies full of contraband
after a night spent
scrounging amongst the seaweed
We have extensive beds in our Bay which, like a lot of NZ fisheries, were raped and plundered almost to extinction when first discovered but now with the season only from July to February and a quota limit set they are producing as well as ever. In places they are 6 metres down so, as a recreational fisherman with a good set of lungs, you can get your limit of 20 in good time.
Here's how I like to prepare them :
Fresh Macadamia Crumbed Mercury Bay Scallops on Corn Hotcake with a Pernod Cream Sauce
2 eggs beaten / 400gm can cream corn
3/4 cup plain flour / tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sour cream / dash of tabasco sauce
tbs sweet Thai chilli sauce / 1/2 small onion chopped fine
clove garlic chopped fine / 2 tbs chopped coriander
salt and fresh pepper
I lightly crumb mine in a mix of macadamia nut and chilli kelp I get from my local macadamia orchard
but you can do them plain.
Have a pan with a little oil searing hot and add scallops, cook 30 seconds, flip over and , add a knob of butter, a little lemon juice and a good splash of pernod. Flame the alcohol (the exciting part) then add 60mls of cream. Cook a minute, remove the scallops, season the sauce with salt and freshly ground pepper and reduce down to a nice consistency. While cooking the scallops cook the hotcakes in 7cm rounds in another hot pan with oil to golden brown.
To serve: place two hotcakes in the centre of the plate, put 6 scallops on top and pour over sauce. Garnish with a nasturtium flower and a sprig of coriander.
The ingredients are deliberately a little loose. Remember to taste, taste, taste as you are cooking to understand what works! Photo coming when we finish the wild pig our neighbour dropped into us. I can see another recipe coming on: medallions of wild pork fillet with seared scallops on.......