Sunday, 15 June 2008

Seafood and Sparkling Wine

Oysters and Champagne are not really barbeque food but seafood comes into its own with a glass of bubbly. Skewered scallops are absolutely scrumptious and their sweet flesh has been a favourite food for centuries. Their shells appear in art, history and legend – in Botticelli's masterpiece The Birth of Venus the goddess rises from the sea foam on a scallop shell. A scallop shell was carried by pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella and served both as a symbol of the pilgrimage as well as a drinking cup. The scallop shell is the emblem of Saint James who was burried at Santiago de Compostella and the famous French dish Coquille St Jacques (of scallops in a creamy cheese sauce is named after him.

The taste of scallops is delicate so chorizo sausage is a great accompaniment as it brings out the flavours and contrast with the sweetness. This recipe for Skewered Scallops is very quick and easy – it only takes 15 minutes and is very moreish!

Skewered Scallops

2oz melted butter
Juice of 2 lemons
Black pepper
1 tsp freshly chopped parsley
24 large scallops, shelled
chorizo sausage

Place the melted butter, lemon juice, pepper and parsley in a large bowl and mix well. Add the scallops and turn to coat. Cut each chroizo into chunks and thread alternately onto the skewers with the scallops. Cook over hot barbecue coals for 3-4 minutes each side, basting with the remaining butter mixture, until the bacon is crisp and golden brown. To serve - transfer the skewers to a serving platter and drizzle any remaining butter mixture over the top. Serve immediately.


Cremant d'Alsace (£8.49) is a rare find – it was recommended to Nick by Philippe Seconde from whom we buy our Champagne. He told us that "when Champagne makers want a sparkling wine their preference is Cremant D'Alsace". Having tasted it I can understand why. Traditionally made, it is a pale yellow colour with a dense, very fine mousse lasting to the very last sip in the glass. It is very fruity on the nose with the flavours of apricots, lime blossom and plums. It is light and fresh – just right for seaside summer days!

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