Seared Scallops with Bacon

We had this as a starter to the spaghetti vongole, and I’ve just realised I should have posted this first but hey ho never mind. The scallops were also from the same Stevenson fishmonger stall and were so plump and sweet. Take me back to Cornwall! The other less photogenic pieces and the coral were kept aside and gobbled up sharpish. Feel free to multiply the ratios if serving more.

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Seared Scallops with Bacon

Serves 2 as a starter

1 piece unsmoked bacon
6 pieces of scallops, coral separated
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice

  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place the bacon on a piece of aluminium foil and roast in the oven until brown and crisp, this should take 15-20 minutes depending on how thick the slice is. Keep an eye on it as it can burn easily towards the end. Remove and drain on a a kitchen towel then crumble it down into lovely little shards of salty goodness.
  2. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add the oil and butter. When the oil is hot and smoking, place the scallops in and sear on each side for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until golden brown. They should still be translucent in the centre.
  3. Squeeze some lemon juice over and serve on a plate topped with the crumbled bacon.

(The scallop coral can be cooked separately and should only take a few seconds on each side.)

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Spaghetti Vongole

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I still have to write up my little holiday in Cornwall, but I thought I’d share this simple but delicious recipe with you first. We had access to such fresh seafood over there and were glad to be in a self-catering apartment so we could cook up some of the amazing fish and shellfish we bought. These clams were from Stevenson fishmongers who are based in Newlyn. Their┬ástall at the Falmouth Oyster Festival was making a roaring trade and people must have felt as compelled as we did to buy and cook their lovely seafood. Big bonus, they kept your fish in the fridge so you could come back and collect it at the end of the day.

This recipe has been minimally modified from The Guardian. G and I love our spice so I doubled up the chilli and used the same recipe to serve the two of us instead of four people.

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Spaghetti Vongole

Serves 2

500g clams
Enough spaghetti for 2 people
30g butter
2 tbsp sunflower oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
100ml dry white wine
15g parsley, chopped
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

  1. Rinse the clams and scrub them if needed. Place them in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Salt generously and leave for an hour. They will spit out any grit or sand. To be sure, I also drained, rinsed and soaked them twice again in cold unsalted water for 20 minutes each time. Fresh clams should be closed when uncooked, so discard any clams that are cracked or remain open when tapped.
  2. Boil the spaghetti in salted water until two minutes under the recommended cooking time. Drain and run under cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process and prevent them sticking.
  3. Heat up a pot on medium heat and put the oil and half the butter in. When hot, fry the chopped garlic and chilli until soft but not brown.
  4. Add the clams and turn heat up to medium high. Add in the white wine and cover to cook for a couple of minutes until all the clams have opened. Discard any that are still closed.
  5. Add the spaghetti, remaining butter and lemon zest and toss well to mix. Remove from the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley.

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