I think this is one of the best starters ever served at our house, sadly I hasten to add, not prepared by myself. Fresh juicy scallops, caramelized onion and carrot and rouget served with a tomato and caper sauce à l’itallienne – it was very very nice indeed, and if there is any interest in this dish I will happily hunt down the recipe information :). It’s simple, fast (so I am told I was banished from the kitchen) and wonderfully satisfying.
I have now updated the recipes and am bringing them to Fiesta Friday a couple of days late! The recipes stem from a cook, who, being unable to find work in a ” proper” restaurant, was forced to work the summer over in a pizzeria on the coast of Puglia. Mr Polianthus worked as a bar-tender in the pizzeria in his summer holidays, and reports that each evening after the chef had finished servicing pizzas and fries to the customers he would get back into the kitchen and prepare some wonderful food – the food he really wanted to cook. He would then “force” the restaurant staff to have dinner – and among other things he served the above caramelized onion and carrot with scallops, and tomato and caper sauce with red snapper.
Caramelized Onion and Carrot
Use red onions because they are sweet when you cook them. For 4 scallops use 1 medium sized red oni0n and 1 large carrot.
Cut the into small pieces, use a potato peeler to peel the carrot into uniform thin slices. Put the onion and the carrot slices in a frying pan, add olive oil to cover up to half the height of the vegetables – start heating on low heat and shake your pan from time to time to move the veggies around. When the onions become translucent (and the carrots are crunchy at this point) – you add one teaspoon of white sugar until the sugar is caramelized. When the sugar is caramelized you add up to, but not more than, 1 tsp of soya sauce (not too much).
Set aside the serving
Wash scallops, melt butter in a frying pan, heat, add scallops fry on both sides, on medium heat,until the outside is white (ie proteins are cooked) take them away immediately after this, or they will become rubbery.
Onion and caper sauce for the red mullet (for portions as above for 4 people)
1 medium sized white onion, chop into squares, 2 tsp of capers, cherry tomatoes (around 8-10) (if you use normal tomatoes remove the seeds and peel the tomatoes before using)
On middle low flame heat onion and capers – take care not to burn them, while the onion and capers are cooking, chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters, removing the stalks, once the onion is translucent, add the tomatoes, after a couple of minutes (when the tomatoes are almost cooked), you delicately put the red mullet on top of the tomatoes and then you cover the pan, and cook for another couple of minutes until the mullet is cooked. When everything is cooked you can add some oregano, don’t add any salt as the mullet is salty already (and the capers are usually salty too).