Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bistro Classics: Scallops wrapped in Ham with Alhambra Reserva 1925

I've been really getting into 'Bistro' style food recently, which for me means a really hot pan or griddle, some unadulterated meat and lots of Garlic. Maximum flavour, minimum effort. For the ham, I have opted for Serrano - Prosciutto seems to be the 'classic' but I sometimes find it a little salty. Smoked, streaky bacon would also give a new variant on this.

Pan-Fried Scallops wrapped in Ham (Serves two)
You will need:
6 Fresh Scallops
50/60g of Parma or Serrano ham
6 Cocktail sticks

1. Heat your pan, with a little olive oil and if you want, some crushed garlic.
2. Carefully wrap each scallop in the ham and secure with the cocktail stick. This is often harder than it looks but persevere!
3. If you have put garlic in the pan , scoop it out (it would have burned off by now) and throw in the scallops. They'll need about 4-5 minutes on each side. Season with a grind or three of black pepper.
4. Serve with some crusty bread rubbed with garlic and oil.

I had a few large prawns in reserve, so I simply chucked them into the hot pan and dolloped on a spoonful of chili jam - after spitting furiously at me for a couple of seconds the prawns took on that coating really well - sticky sweet with a lethal chilli aftertaste!
A great tapas-style supper, and you can instantly see why this is a Bistro classic. The creamy, firm scallops don't need much other that the sweet, slightly salty ham to set them off.

With this in mind, my beer choice was Alhambra's Reserva 1925 - a lofty title for possibly the most complex 'lager' I have ever tasted. In fact, to call it a lager doesn't really do it justice; below the dry, super-resiny hoppy tang lies a much darker, boiled-sweet body that disguises its hefty abv (6.4) well. Really moreish and thirst-quenching, I'll be reaching for this great beer again this year, and I recommend you do the same if you're serious about having a home beer cellar.


Leigh said...

John - sorry man, I accidentally rejected your comment!
I've not seen the damage caused (to the seabed) but you make an excellent point- as with all seafood/fish, sourcing it from the right suppliers is critical.

Leigh said...

John - I fear there is something wrong with my comments function, i cant seem to publish any - you actually dived for them yourself? That's amazing! talk about fresh, talk about going the extra mile!how did they taste!

Anonymous said...

It wasn't anything as exciting as diving for scallops, I merely was able to collect shellfish (mussels and cockles) from the seashore. It was best to get them from calmer water as they tended to contain lots of pearls if you didn't.

As for taste they were fantastic, like all seafood freshness is everything, they were extremely sweet and full of flavour.