I feel like I've lost a bit of cooking inspiration recently. It's been all stir-fried noodles, simple pastas - the kind of thing you can cook in 15 minutes. This has been because of it being cheap to make, quick to make, and requiring little to no imagination. Work has been busy, but life has also been busy. The sun has been out and I've been trying to make the most of it, even if it means I rarely see the inside of my flat and I'm sometimes exhausted.
I'm trying to change this though, and have resolved to cook at least one recipe from my cookbooks a week. I once spent 5 hours on a Sunday cooking pork belly and the result was so satisfying, but this I haven't done in a long time. Perhaps practically living alone has been the cause of this, but I'll just drag my mates round to eat more.
Anyway, enough about me. I spotted these lovely scallops in the supermarket on the shell for 99p each and couldn't resist them. I absolutely refuse to buy scallops without the coral on them, they're so packed full of flavour that I feel like I'm being cheated if they don't have them on. Scallops work well with both sweet and salty flavours (think black pudding and apple), so I took these elements and created a very experimental dish. Thankfully it worked really quite well; the juicy sweetness of the nectarines was balanced well with the salty bacon, and well - we know dill works with seafood pretty well. It was a perfect light lunch.
Scallops with Bacon, Nectarines & Dill
4 scallops, roe on in their shells
1 small ripe nectarine
2 slices of smoked streaky bacon
Juice of half a lime
3 sprigs of dill
In a non stick pan, add half the butter until foaming. Add the bacon and fry until coloured. Add the shallots and fry slowly until softened and golden. Then cut the nectarine into slices and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on a medium heat until all is slightly sticky. Take the fronds of dill off the stems and chop finely. Add to the pan with the lime juice, stir well and take it off the heat. Spoon into the shells evenly.
Wipe the frying pan clean, and add the rest of the butter with a drop of cooking oil. Heat until almost smoking but not burning, and add the scallops. Tilt the pan, spooning the butter mixture over them. Cook for about 2 mins depending on the thickness of the scallops, then turn over. They should be nicely browned. Cook for a further minute, then carefully season with pepper and lift onto the shell mixture. Serve with leaves dressed in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.