Scallops with samphire and a hazelnut and chive butter

Sunday Observer award winning cook/food blogger addicted to Radio 4, Maria Kuehn co-runs the Lounge Cafe and teaches healthy eating on a budget at Restaurant reviewer for @OMOTG. Kingsgate Community Centre NW6.

When I’m exceptionally poor, I go out and spank the credit card on my favourite things, as you do. So it was today when a hankering for one of my beloved starters had me jumping into the car and heading to Waitrose.

The beauty of quality products is that you don’t have to mess around with them. A few added ingredients to enhance the taste of super fresh scallops with a glass of something suitably expensive and ice cold is all a girl could wish for.

scallops samphire recipe

Tip:  Please don’t mess with your scallops. A minute on each side with a do not disturb sign on them will deliver perfect results. In addition, what is it with the Brits and The Yanks that prevent them from eating the roe? Blithering idiots.

Serves 2 as a starter

  • 8 scallops with the roe
  • 1 large knob of quality butter (about a quarter of a pack)
  • handful of samphire*
  • 8 hazelnuts
  • ten snipped chives
  • 1/2 a glass of dry white/rosé wine
  • a few drops of olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper

Dry fry the hazelnuts for a minute in a frying pan. Place in a bowl and lightly crush with a pestle. Melt half the butter in the same pan and when foaming, place your scallops in the pan and DO NOT DISTURB. After about thirty seconds, pour over a little oil to prevent the butter from burning.  Turn over the scallops after a minute, Season, wait for thirty seconds, throw in your chives and samphire, add the wine and finish cooking. Add a best friend, a bottle of Mirabeau and some crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Tip:  If samphire isn’t available where you are, you can double up on the chives and/or add finely shredded parsley.

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