Monday, 19 October 2009

Rocket risotto with scallops and crispy ham

Scallops seem to be very in vogue at the moment, if you watch Masterchef you'll have noticed that every other dish has scallops in it, not to mention they're on every restaurant menu and in every supermarket too. I didn't understand what all the fuss was about until I tried one at a food show in Birmingham last year, they are possibly the most delicious seafoody thing I've ever eaten! I picked up some perfectly fresh and delicious looking scallops last week, unfortunately they weren't in their shells but you can't win them all.
I wanted to cook a main dish with my scallops rather than the usual starter, I wanted to incorporate ham into the dish too. It's a delicious combination. I settled on making a risotto -nothing fancy, just a basic risotto- stirring through some peppery rocket leaves and serving the fried scallops on top with some crisped up ham.
Black forest ham
Although Parma ham would have been really tasty I used German Black Forest ham, it's similar in texture to Parma ham but has a darker colour and a smoky flavour. Well worth trying if you come across it, it tastes superb!

The risotto was really good way to serve scallops and the ham that I crisped up in a pan complimented the scallops perfectly. My scallop dish repertoire is extremely limited, I'd love some more ideas. How do you cook scallops?

15 comments:

♥peachkins♥ said...

This is a very fabulous dish!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

You know I've never actually tried scallops...but I hear good things about them :) The risotto looks gorgeous and the ham seems like a nice extra touch!

Christina said...

Delicious! I would expect to see a risotto like this on the menu of a really great restaurant.

Hopie said...

Glad you've been converted. I love scallops! I made them simply with veggies this summer (http://hopieskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/08/scallops-with-garlic-roast-peppers-and.html), but I also have a recipe with whiskey and apples that I'll have to look for and pull out again because it's pretty delicious!

James said...

Wow - tasty dish!

How to cook scallops? Well if they're fresh, as in still alive, there's nothing better than opening them, slicing them, marinading in lime, ginger juice, maybe a little soy for a few minutes (up to 10) and eating them as ceviche. Not advisable with supermarket scallops as they often leave them hanging around and definitely not frozen.

Always good wrapped in pancetta. Got some other ideas here: http://www.thecotswoldfoodyear.com/search/label/scallops

Sylvie said...

What a great looking meal. I like scallops, but have only ever had them eating out. I have never cooked them myself. I guess it's time I tried.

Katie said...

Nothing like a comforting risotto on a cold day. It looks delicious. I know what you mean about the scollops on Masterchef - a bit like the fondant puddings - overdone!!

croquecamille said...

I love scallops! And risotto! Your dish sounds fabulous. Scallops + ham = good things. Here's my favorite over-the-top scallop meal: http://croquecamille.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/must-be-scallop-season/

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Wow - you certainly know how to eat well, Sam! Way to go!

The Caked Crusader said...

what a lovely warming dish for autumn. I adore scallops and I always order them out, but have never actually cooked them

Amanda said...

Beautiful!

Margaret said...

I love your risotto and I am a huge risotto fan.
Am I possibly the only person in the blogosphere not to like scallops though!

Nicisme said...

I'm not a fan of scallops, but I would gobble the rest up in an instant, looks super!

(On a side note, you can get French bread flour in selected branches of Waitrose. If you have trouble, email me and I'll send you some.)

Foodycat said...

This looks lovely! Scallops are about my favourite seafood. When we cook them at home I pair them with a thick cauliflower soup. One of the classic treatments is with black pudding, but I find that the flavour overwhelms them a bit.

pigpigscorner said...

What a great meal! I'm u with pairing ham and scallops..delicious!