Shellfish & chorizo have long been established as a marriage of flavors and textures that work brilliantly. Squid stuffed with sisig, sizzling chili shrimp with chorizo are two of the dishes we have made with this concept in mind. We were fooling around with scallops a couple of weeks ago and these were the results of our first batch of experiments. I had asked someone headed to the markets to buy me some scallops, and was told by phone that they had them alive and still in their shells. I am used to getting them on the half-shell or sans shell completely, so this was a bit unusual for me.
The shells seems older, harder and frankly, tougher than I recall scallop shells to be. Perhaps these were another variety, but we gave them a good rinse, and rather than attempting to pry each one open and probably injure ourselves (I am not an accomplished live clam/oyster/scallop shucker), I took a shortcut route of sticking them in a pan, into a very hot oven, and waited for them to die and pop open. I know, a bit cruel, but such is the fate of these molluscs.
I’m sure there is a logial way to tell which side of the shell the scallop “sticks” to, but we just did this haphazardly and turned over scallops that were upside down. That’s a bit of a flavor bummer as you lose some of the liquid from the scallops, so if you do this, figure out how to roast the scallops right side up first…
Next, I made two batches of sauteed chorizo, one plain, and a second batch, in the photo above, with chili jam. The jam was a bit sweetish, but still wickedly spicy. The combination worked really nicely.
Top the scallops with chorizo, some shredded cheese (we only had quickmelt from the neighborhood sari-sari store) and topped with some breadcrumbs… and into a hot oven or under a broiler…
And you end up with these pretty darned good first attempts at a baked scallops. We didn’t have enough cheese, and the breadcrumbs couls have been zhugged up with herbs or a bit of olive oil or butter… but nearly 100 scallops disappeared in no time at all. We are continuing experiments, but you get the basic idea. Chorizo is like the local equivalent of bacon. Almost everything tastes better with good chorizo. :)