Sunday, January 17, 2010

An Evening with Nigella: Scallops & Chorizo Dinner

Two unexpected events happened yesterday. Last night, I had originally wanted to use up some Italian sausage I had in the freezer, simmering it into a hearty meat sauce for pasta. However, I had to put that plan on hold as when I checked on my thawing sausages a few hours before meal time, they were still covered in ice crystals, despite an overnight thaw in the fridge. /Sigh. So, now I needed to figure out something else to make, and my tummy was already grumbling for dinner. I recently wrote about how I am trying very hard to avoid making extra trips to the grocery store, and to cut down on unessential food purchases. Well, last night I broke my own rule and did make a stop in the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients for my last minute change of plans meal. It made me feel a bit like a dieter sneaking a candy bar.

When I noticed that scallops were on sale, I decided that I would make some recipes I had seen presented on an episode of Nigella Express, a Spanish themed menu of tapas inspired dishes : Scallops & Chorizo, Chickpeas with Arugula & Sherry, and Shrimp with Maryam Zaira Sauce. I also served some Amish Dill Bread on the side (which you will hear more about soon). The meal was super simple and came together really fast. The Scallops came out juicy and tender, perfectly cooked, with a nice smoky flavor from the chorizo. The chickpeas dish looked lovely, with the mound of rocket wilting over the top, and the delicious aroma of cumin was very promising. Unfortunately, this dish didn't have quite the punch I expected and also tasted like it needed more simmering time. The canned chickpeas were still a bit too firm and didn't absorb enough of the flavors. It tasted ok, just not something I would make as a last minute dish again. As for the dipping sauce for the shrimp, I had to make a significant change to the recipe - I didn't have any harissa in the house and the local grocery store didn't have any, so I instead used chipotle mayo and still added the lime juice and honey. This worked out very well, if a bit spicy.

And to relieve some of my guilt over my shopping trip, the only ingredients I bought for this meal were the arugula, the seafood, the chipotle mayo, and the chorizo. I had all of the other items at home already. Just pretend I didn't also buy a few other items, ok?? ;)


  1. Your dinner looks delicious! I made the scallops and chorizo a while back and really loved the combination of flavors.

  2. Thank you Deb :) It was my favorite part of the meal. I don't make scallops that often, but this method made them turn out great.