I got a bunch of sweet potatoes in my weekly farm box – like a bunch of them some and some beautiful Swiss Chard. At the Farmer’s Market I spied some big juicy Diver’s Scallops – and I happen to think that scallops and sweet potatoes are a wonderful combo – hence this dish that I cobbled together. My ten year-old daughter said she hates all fish now (great – all of a sudden) but I ignored her protestations and forced myself not to cook something else for her – not an easy feat because our kitchen is like a short-order restaurant most of the time. Suffice to say that she now LOVES scallops and I just wish they weren’t so expensive! If you do decide to treat yourself, make sure they are as fresh as possible and remember that Diver’s scallops are a totally different animal to the cheaper and more ubiquitous small scallops that you can often buy frozen.
DIVER’S SCALLOPS WITH CREAMED SWEET POTATO
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2tbsp whole milk
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1 bunch of chard, washed and thick stalks removed
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2tbsp olive oil 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
2tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
12 Diver’s scallops (allow 3 or 4 per person)
Boil the potatoes under tender, drain and mash them well. Beat in the butter with a wooden spoon until melted, then add the milk. Use an immersion blender to blend the potatoes to a smooth puree. Put a lid on the pan to keep them warm. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and fry the onions and garlic until softened. Add the chard, red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar. Cover the pan and fry on a low heat for about 5 minutes. When the chard is tender, remove from heat and dump out onto a wooden cutting board. Chop the chard and place in a bowl to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with paper towel (let’s not get another pan dirty here!) and add 2tbsp of olive oil. On a high heat, wait until the oil is just smoking that add the scallops. The trick to searing them is that you don’t move then until they move easily (become unstuck to the bottom of the pan,) if you try to turn them or move them too early, they’re not ready and won’t have got that lovely brown crust. Have a pair of tongs at the ready to check how they’re doing after about 3 minutes – when they move without too much tugging, flip them over and fry for another 3 – 4 minutes depending on the size of your scallops. Place a couple of scoops of potato in the center of large warmed plates, and arrange the chard around the edge. Finally top with the scallops and eat immediately.