Making a special has become a two minute exercise. What’s in the walk in? What do I have? What can I throw in there with a minimal amount of effort on my part that can make it seem amazing? God I have too much stuff to do already, do I really need to do a special? Did I really just volunteer to do this? Scallops? Again? Why is it always scallops? I’m the queen of the scallops now, aren’t I?
Somehow I always end up making a special on scallop day.
Mussel and scallop ‘stew’
12 medium sized mussels
2 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cooked beans
1/4 cup diced tomato
A few mixed olives, sliced
Minced shallot and garlic to taste
1 cup white wine
Salt, black pepper, fresh herbs, butter, all to taste
Scallops, if you have them
Place two sauté pans over medium high heat. Add oil. Place seasoned scallops in one pan, and mussels in the other. Ignore the scallops while they cook, trying to turn them before they’re ready will just break the beautiful golden brown crust they are developing.
Add the diced tomato, sliced chorizo, garlic and shallots to the mussels pan. Sweat them for 30 seconds. Add the beans olives. Season very lightly with salt and pepper. Add the white wine, giving the pan a shake occasionally. Add butter and fresh herbs to taste. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Cook the mussels for 2 or 3 minutes at the most. Toss any mussel that doesn’t open, or any empty shells.
Turn the scallops over when they freely detach from the pan. Move them to the top of the pan, add a good amount of butter to the pan, allowing it to melt. When the butter starts to foam, baste them generously by tipping the pan towards you, and with a large spoon carefully flicking the golden liquid towards the scallops. Carefully. Do not allow the butter to brown.
Marry the two pans in a large bowl. Eat with plenty of bread on hand.