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no matter what the road block in life, a great recipe can get you back to the bright side

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Desert Island Starter

As we are finally starting to get some summer days and nights here in Newcastle, I've been feeling a bit happier. I've come to learn that the weather has a huge effect on me and how I am feeling - and the constant rubbish weather has really started to make me feel a bit of gloom and doom. I like my sun and I like my warmth...I like to swim, I like to sit under the sun and read or have a picnic, I like summer. There's no doubt about that.

I also love summer because it means light late nights, pints on the patio, bbqs and great summery nights with friends.

Friday was turning out to be a beautiful day and it would have been a shame not to take advantage of it! Some last minute planning lead to a short stroll through Jesmond Dene with Justin and our buddy and fellow blogger Adam. On our way back to the flat we picked up some meat, and a crate of San Miguel and we were ready to rock! We were having a great time bbq-ing, having a wee dance around around the coals whilst we grilled, and this lead to an interesting conversation.

Justin wanted to know what our desert island meals would be......if we could have one option only. I often hate these sort of situations because I feel the pressure to make a decision and it will be the end all decision - if ever I were stuck on a deserted island...I would be stuck with this decision. But I felt fairly confident this time around. Here was my selection:

Drink: spiced rum
Starter: bacon wrapped scallops
Main: calzone
Dessert: tie between banoffee pie and my mums raspberry pie

I felt pretty confident with this because I think it would all taste amazing and I would hit all the food groups with this meal!

This is what stemmed tonights meal! Ever since that conversation I have been CRAVING bacon wrapped scallops. Ever since I went to some poncey work function with Justin over 6 years ago, they have been one of my favourite go to starters, if it's on the menu I'm bound to get it! So after roaming around town this afternoon, picking some wedding bits and bobs, we made a pit-stop in Grainger Market and I visited my fish monger and picked us up some fresh scallops and cod.

salt, pepper
parsley flakes

Method to the madness:

1. Chop up the sweet potatoes into thin-ish strips (however you like your fries/chips), my were like thick steak chips. I used my favourite oil - chilli & garlic from Tynemouth Market - pour a bit of oil on a baking sheet, put your sweet potatoes on the pan and drizzle a bit more oil and season with salt. Pop those puppies in the oven!

2. Get your bacon strips in a pan - you want to partly cook them until almost done before wrapping cooking with your scallops, the scallops take no time at all so don't think they'll just cook when you do the scallops. So cook them, and put them aside to cool.

3. Then work on your fish. In my case - I first had to de-bone the cod, so I used a pair of regular tweezers to pull all the bones out. Then I filleted the skin off the cod. You can cook it with the skin on - but for this recipe I decided to go skinless.

4. Then I put a bit of plain flour in a bowl and seasoned it with salt, pepper and parsley flakes. Then put your fillets in the bowl - cover the fillets and then tap any excess flour off and put them aside ready to cook. The flour helps gives them a nice crispy outer layer.

5. At this point I prepped my scallops. I took the scallops and scored a little cross on one side - besides the fact it makes them look nice once they are cooked - this also makes sure they cook through. Then I wrapped a piece of bacon around and 'stuck' it in place by putting a wooden skewer through. Then put them aside.

6. Heat a bit of oil and butter in a pan, once the butter is mostly melted put your cod in - once they are golden on one side - flip them over. Tip the pan a little bit and using a spoon - pour some of the melted butter over the fillets as they cook - this will prevent them from drying out and make them so lovely and buttery that each bite just melts in your mouth!

7. Start to melt some butter and olive oil in another pan and once melted season both sides of your scallops with salt & pepper then pop them in the pan. At this point I took my cod out of the other pan as they had become golden on both sides - I put them in a bit of foil with some of the pan juices until I finished the scallops.

8. Depending on the size of your scallops they'll take about 2 mins on one side - again once golden in colour flip them and cook for another 2-3 mins on the other side.

9. Once you finish all of this your potatoes should also be ready - providing you didn't cut them into large wedges! Pop a bit of sea salt on top of them for a little extra crunch!

10. Plate up and enjoy!!


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