In the first of three recipes that directly benefit from using Spanish tomatoes, here is something a bit special. Scallops covered in a sauce made from tomatoes and served in their shell.
This is a recipe associated with the shrine of St.James and therefore hails from the wonderful city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. If you like scallops, you'll love this succulent dish.
450 grams of large shelled scallops OR 8-12 large ones on the shell, detached and cleaned
200 grams of tomatoes
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
50 mils of orange juice
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of anis spirit, such as Pernod or Ricard
6 tablespoons of stale breadcrumbs
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic over a gentle heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with a little salt and cayenne pepper.
Transfer the tomato mixture to a small food processor or blender. Add 2 tablespoons of the parsley and the orange juice and blend to form a smooth purée.
Preheat the grill with the shelf at its highest. Arrange four curved scallop shells, or flameproof ramekin dishes, on a baking tray.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a small frying pan and fry the scallops gently for about two minutes, or until sealed but not totally cooked through.
Pour the anis spirit into a ladle and set light to it. Pour over the scallops and shake the pan gently until the flames die down. Divide the scallops among the prepared shells (or dishes) and salt them lightly. Add the pan juices to the tomato sauce.
Pour the tomato sauce over the scallops. Mix together the breadcrumbs and the remaining parsley, season very lightly and sprinkle over the top.
Melt the remaining butter in a small pan and drizzle over the breadcrumbs. Grill the scallops for one minute to colour the tops and heat through. Serve immediately.