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Scallops with Champagne and pea sauce

Sweet Australian scallops pair perfectly with this vibrant Champagne and pea sauce, topped with nuggets of chorizo and texture.

By Dominic Smith
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 6 - 8
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When you've just cracked a bottle of Champagne, you probably wouldn't think to mix a bit in with some peas. You might even see it as a major waste of bubbly. We hear you. But we're only asking you to use half a cup, and trust us, you'll be very pleasantly surprised by the results. Pair the sauce with some scallops, and you have a surprise hit of a party snack on your hands.

Ingredients

  • 24 Queensland scallops in the half shell (see note), cleaned, roe removed
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 cured chorizo, finely chopped
  • Micro chervil, to serve
Champagne and pea sauce
  • 60 gm butter, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) Champagne
  • 180 gm frozen peas, defrosted
  • 20 gm baby spinach

Method

  • 1
    For Champagne and pea sauce, heat 30gm butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally until softened (4-5 minutes). Deglaze pan with Champagne and simmer until reduced by half (3-5 minutes). Add peas and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a high-speed blender, add spinach and blend to a thick purée. Add remaining butter, season to taste and blend until combined. Transfer Champagne and pea sauce to a small saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • 2
    Separate the scallops from their shells, rinse shells, dry and set aside. Preheat a lightly greased barbecue flat plate or frying pan to high. Drizzle chorizo with oil and cook, tossing until golden (1-2 minutes). Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Working quickly, add scallops and sear for 30 seconds each side or until golden and opaque in the middle. Season to taste.
  • 3
    Spoon warm Champagne and pea sauce into scallop shells and top with a scallop and a little chorizo. Drizzle with extra olive oil and scatter with chervil.

Notes

The pea sauce can be made a day ahead and gently reheated. Substitute Tasmanian scallops for Queensland scallops, if in season.

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