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I have a serious food crush on seafood with pork. In London there's a restaurant called J. Sheekey's Oyster Bar that makes squid and wild boar cassoulet. Be still my heart. And while I can't exactly make cassoulet any ol' night of the week, much less with wild boar, I can still get into that combination of down-home deliciousness and elegance. Enter, my Crispy Broiled Scallops and Chorizo.
To me, cooking for two means limiting not just my time spent, but also my ingredients. I don't want to go out and spend a fortune stocking my cupboard with things I'm only going to use once, and in such a small quantity. And when cooking with just a few ingredients, it's important to make each one count, so that the food is exciting and tempting, not boring.
This dish is the perfect example. I start with scallops, because scallops are sweet and rich and always feel like a treat. But, the bay scallops are cheaper than the big fancy scallops, and they cook much more quickly. Spanish chorizo, another bang for your buck, offers the salty meaty flavor of ham, that gorgeous burnt red smoky flavor of paprika, and tons of garlic.
Toss the chorizo and scallops together; automatically the fat and flavor melts out of the chorizo in the oven and bathes and crisps the scallops. Gorgeous. I top the whole thing with panko crumbs for crunch and fresh baby greens for something light.
I serve these in individual baking dishes, and whether I serve it for just me and Mr. English, or I do the unthinkable and have people over during the week, I have this really impressive, kind of fancy, really delicious dinner in 15 minutes and just a couple of ingredients. If only all things in life were this easy!