Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #31: Sticky Pan-Fried Scallops
This was our 31st cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. As the Snook put it: “Are we done yet??” Hey, we’re in the home stretch. For this meal, we picked: “Sticky Pan-Fried Scallops, Sweet Chilli Rice, Dressed Greens, and Quick Brownies.” We picked it because we were in the mood for seafood, we had some greens to use up, and we had the episode to watch. The Snook was on chef’s duty for this one, and he managed it in a respectable 34:19!
Substitutions: We used regular broccoli instead of “purple sprouting broccoli.” We only did half-recipes of both the rice and the brownie. For the latter, we subbed in walnuts and dried cranberries instead of pecans and dried cherries. We also had it with whipped cream instead of creme fraiche. Other than that, everything else was as written in the recipe!
Quick verdict: This one was great! We both really enjoyed this one. Sure, it’s a little light on protein just because how expensive scallops are as an ingredient. (From our fish monger, they worked out to about $1 per scallop!) But the flavours were all fantastic and really complementary. I was dubious about the rice, but it was probably my favorite component of the whole meal. The greens weren’t sexy or fussy, but they added some nice contrast in both colour and texture. And the brownie! Well, it’s not really a brownie. More like a dense chocolate cake. I loved it. (The timing, however, was way optimistic and we ended up cooking it for a lot longer.) Overall, we both rated it a stunning 9.5 out of 10! This meal is easy and quick to prepare but it would definitely impress your guests.
Read on for a photo essay of the preparation.Pre-start prep: We got out all the necessary ingredients, tools, and cooking vessels. The kitchen was clean (well, as clean as it gets) and everything wiped down and ready to go. The oven was turned on to 180C, the kettle was boiled, and the food processor was fitted with the standard blade. We had a big pot with a steamer basket for the greens, a large saucepan for the rice, a frying pan for the scallops, and a cake pan for the brownies.
First up are the ingredients for the rice: basmati rice, spring onions, eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon, coriander, and sweet chilli sauce.
For the greens, we had: bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, and lime.
Here are the ingredients for the scallops: scallops, lemon, Chinese five-spice, sesame oil, red chilli, garlic, honey, butter, and coriander.
Lastly, the bits for the brownie: 70% chocolate bar, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, self-raising flour, crystallised ginger, eggs, walnuts, dried cranberries, and orange.
Pots and pans, ready to go!
And here’s our trusty food processor with the blade attachment fitted.
Ready set GO! The Snook started by getting the rice on to cook. He put one mug of rice into the big saucepan along with two mugs of boiled water. He also added a pinch of salt, covered it, and left it to cook.
Next up is the brownie. He smashed up the chocolate and added it to the food processor along with the butter.
He next added sugar, flour, a pinch of salt, and quite a lot of cocoa powder.
He also added a small handful of crystallised ginger.
Whizz! While it was whizzing, he cracked in the eggs.
Here’s the finished batter, which was quite thick.
Rather than Jamie’s silly trick of (yet again) using wetted greaseproof paper (which always seems to catch fire in our oven), the Snook used some silicone baking paper to line the cake pan. He then spread the batter out evenly in it.
He scattered walnuts and dried cranberries on top and grated over some orange zest before putting it into the oven to bake.
Time to prep the scallops. He started by delicately scoring them in a criss-cross on one side.
He then drizzled them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then he grated over some lemon zest.
He finished them with a dusting of Chinese five-spice and a drizzle of sesame oil. These were then set aside to be cooked at the last minute!
Now it was time to go back to the rice, which was mostly finished cooking. He chopped up some green onions…
…before mixing them with beaten eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, and olive oil.
The egg mixture was then poured on top of the cooked rice. He squeezed over some lemon juice and added some black pepper. Then he put the lid back on to let it cook a bit more.
Now it was time to prep the greens. Here he’s slicing the bok choy into quarters.
He also cut up some broccoli and asparagus.
It all went into the steamer to cook over some boiling water.
Time for the last bits of work on the rice. He finely chopped some coriander…
…before piling it on the rice. Then he drizzled sweet chilli sauce over it. That’s the rice finished!
It was finally time to cook the scallops. He placed them score-side down in a hot pan with olive oil.
A few minutes later, he turned them over to reveal their beautiful golden undersides. He added fresh chilli and crushed garlic as well.
To finish them, he squeezed over lemon juice and drizzled them with honey. He also added some butter to the pan as well.
The greens were well-steamed, so he piled them up on a plate.
He dressed the greens with soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, and lime juice.
Here are the finished sticky scallops, garnished with coriander.
And here is the completed meal of sticky pan-fried scallops, sweet chilli rice, and dressed greens!
The brownie actually took nearly twice as long to cook as he suggested. It was fantastic though. We had it with plain whipped cream, and I actually forgot to photograph it until after I’d had a few bites! It’s really great still warm from the oven.
Tasting notes: The Snook thought the garlic and chilli flavour of the scallops was maybe a little strong, in that it rather overwhelmed the delicate flavour of the scallop itself. I think it fits Jamie’s style though, where he always goes for POW instead of subtlety. (I also think it works better for folks who maybe aren’t as comfortable with seafood.) The rice was really creamy and moreish from the egg, and we polished off our half-recipe really quickly. The greens were fine if unimaginative. (He’s done something similar in many of the other recipes.) As for the brownie, the Snook thought that the ginger flavour came through quite a lot – and that was a good thing. He likes ginger. I didn’t think it made for a very traditional brownie, but it made for an excellent moist, dense chocolate cake! The walnut and cranberry combination we did worked quite well too. Overall we both really enjoyed this one and rated it 9.5 out of 10. Highly recommended.
Stay tuned for another recipe from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals!