Grilled Scallops with Barbecued Corn Puree and Chorizo


For those of you who have never had a scallop, they are a saltwater clam. They live in a very pretty, fan-shaped shell, and have a round, white fleshy meat (the adductor muscle), and a roe which is usually pinky in colour, soft and creamy in texture when cooked.

Scallops are sold at most seafood suppliers/markets, usually in a half-shell, with or without the roe. Although you can eat the roe, many people opt to discard it as it can have a strong flavour and a slimy mouth-feel. Whereas the round, fleshy meat is mild in that 'fishy flavour' with a slight sweetness.
Image taken from http://www.martins-seafresh.co.uk/fresh-scallops.html
The trick to a good scallop is to fry or sear briefly on a high heat. You want to achieve caramelisation (browning) on the outside, while still being medium-rare on the inside. If a scallop is cooked to 'well-done' or overcooked, it will become rubbery. You can also eat fresh scallops raw as 'sashimi'.

Because scallops are mild in flavour, they pair well with many different accompaniments. I decided on Corn puree and chorizo because the puree is quite sweet and chorizo is salty. If you don't want to use chorizo you can easily supplement with pancetta, streaky bacon or proscuitto/parma ham. Just cook them until crisp so you have a nice textural difference with the creamy corn and meaty scallop.

To make the BBQ corn you will need a grill plate or barbecue to give the corn the right colour and barbecued flavour

You will need...
12 scallops, in half shells, roe removed.
2 small corn cobs, shucked and cleaned of any plant material
2 Tbs pure cream
2 Tbs butter, softened
salt and pepper
1 chorizo sausage, skinned and thinly sliced.
olive oil, for cooking.

Method...
1. Turn your bbq/grill to medium-high. Wrap the corn in aluminium foil, and place over the direct heat. Turn the corn every 5 minutes, for 20 minutes. Unwrap and check that the corn is cooked and lightly browned. If your corn hasn't achieved any colouring, place it directly over the heat for a short while to give it slight colour (make sure you watch it constantly so it doesn't burn).
2. Once the corn is cooked, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cob. Transfer the corn to a food processor and blitz for 5 minutes until pulverised. Scrape down the sides, add the butter, cream and a little bit of salt and pepper. Blitz for another couple of minutes until creamy.
3. Place corn puree in a saucepan on the stove, and cook over a low heat until it looks a little more creamy and smooth. It will still have some texture to it. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.
4. Turn your flat plate on your barbecue to high, or use a frypan on the stove top over a hight heat. Remove the scallops from the shell, quickly wash and pat dry, with paper towel, both the scallops and shells to remove any excess sand.
5. Place the scallops on a tray and season with a little salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place the shells in the corner of the grill plate to heat up.
6. Remove the hot shells and transfer them to a platter or board for serving. Spoon a teaspoonful of corn puree into the centre.
7. Work quickly, place your scallops and chorizo on the grill together. Cook on one side for 30 seconds, then flip and do the same on the opposite side. Both the scallops and the chorizo should be golden brown. Once your scallops and chorizo are cooked, quickly transfer them to a tray. Place one scallop with one or two slices of chorizo on each shell filled with corn puree. Serve immediately while hot.

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