For our market lunch last Saturday, always a special occasion because we eat whatever is best from the market that morning, I sautéed freshly shucked scallops with air-cured ham and shitakes, liberally seasoned with garlic. It is not a combination I might have thought of had the scallops, mushrooms, and ham not jumped at me from various market stands.
It was a delight, both in flavor and texture, and it took all of 15 minutes to assemble and cook. And that included shucking the scallops, which I only did because I enjoy doing it – the fishmonger was fully prepared to shuck them for me!
Let me share the recipe with you. If beautiful sea scallops are hard to find, try shrimp in this recipe. (You may omit the “surf” altogether, as ham, shitakes, and garlic are a divinely inspired combination…just increase the quantities, slightly, of each)
Market Surf N’ Turf
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces (250g) shitake mushrooms, stems removed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 slice air-cured ham, with fat, cut into very thin strips
12 sea scallops, rinsed and refrigerated
2 cloves garlic, green germs removed, sliced lengthwise into long slivers
Chervil or parsley, for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
2. Before the oil is completely hot, add the mushrooms to the pan, stir, and cook until they are golden on one side, then turn or flip them onto their other side. Add the ham, stir, and let it cook along with the mushrooms until the fat is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan.
3. When the mushrooms are golden and the ham is nearly cooked through, add the scallops and cook, shaking the pan often until they are hot through, 2 to 3 minutes. The scallops won’t be completely cooked through; that is how they are best. Season the ingredients with salt and pepper, shake the pan and divide the mixture among four warmed plates, leaving residual oil in the pan.
4. Return the pan to the heat. Add the garlic, and cook until it is beginning to turn golden, stirring almost constantly, which will take 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Divide the garlic evenly among the four plates, drizzling any oil in the pan over all as well. Garnish with chevil or parsley and serve immediately.
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