“This could be the start of a beautiful love affair with the scallop.”~ Eric Ripert 1


Queenie Scallops: The recipes

Many chefs will tell you that lots of produce will benefit from being treated simply & sympathetically. None benefit more from this philosophy than scallops, and in particular Queen scallops (or Queenie scallops).

Queen scallops are a smaller species than the more usual King scallops that restaurant goers which are more use to.  Inhabiting a large geographic swath reaching from Norway to the Canary Islands in the south, but Isle of Man queenies are far and away recognised as being the best.

When I was approached to to feature Isle of Man Queenies on the blog, I was immediately thrown back to the days when I was starting out. One particular Christmas menu featured :

Salad of seared Queen scallops with pickled cucumber & a raspberry dressing

I kid you not! My everlasting memory of that particular dish was the the constant overnight thawing & drying of the Queenies, in the vain hope that I might be able to get some colour on them when cooking. There is no excuse for buying frozen scallops, buying them gives you a vastly inferior product and if you can’t afford them, buy something else.

Island Shellfish from Port St. Mary kindly sent me a shipment of half shell Queenies to try. What I like about them, other than the amazing taste, is that the Manx realise that harvesting the Queenies needs to be sustainable. They have set up two main conservation areas around the island, the first in 1989 then the second some 19 years later. The main harvesting happens between May & November and in recent times has received the Marine Stewardship Council’s status as a certified sustainable & well managed fishery.

I know that some people reading this will say

but aren’t they expensive?

Relative to their vastly inferior frozen siblings,  no they aren’t, Island Shellfish quoted me £15 per kilo for half shell Isle of Man Queenies (inclusive of delivery) which will give you about 50 in number. And so to the recipes.

This first recipe contains raw scallops. Please, if you’re in a high risk group seek medical advice first. It is also imperative that you use the freshest available scallops.

Tapas Queenie Scallops

Raw tapas style Queenie Scallops

per person you’ll require:

  • 3 Queenies: cleaned, roe removed & diced.
  • 1 Tomato: peeled de-seeded & diced.
  • 10 Leaves of fresh coriander, finely shredded.
  • 1/2 Lime: zested & juiced.
  • 1 Tsp of quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 Leaf of Red baby gem.

Combine all the ingredients except the baby gem, check the seasoning and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

Using the baby gem leaves as spoons, generously spoon the scallops onto the leaves & serve.

Baked Queenies with Chorizo, Broad beans & Thyme

per person you’ll require:

  • 3 Queenies: cleaned, roe removed & loosened from the shell (reserve the shells for cooking).
  • 50g Chorizo, diced.
  • 3 Sprigs of thyme.
  • 1 Handful of broad beans, cooked & skin removed.
  • 1 Sheet of filo pastry.
  • 1 Tsp of quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • 50g Butter, melted.
  • Seasoning.
  • Eggwash.

In a clean bowl combine the chorizo, thyme, cooked broad beans & the olive oil. Season.

Cut the filo pastry into six squares, each large enough to generously overlap the scallop shell. Brush the center of the first sheet with the melted butter (leaving a 1cm dry boarder around the outside). Next lay the second sheet across the first at a 45degree angle (i.e. the corners of the second sheet should lie on top of the straight edges, giving you a star shape with eight points).

Eggwash a 1cm border of the filo.

Divide the chorizo / bean mix between the 3 reserved shells and top with a queenie.

Next cover the Queenie with the filo sheets using the eggwash to glue the pastry to the shell.

Bake in a preheated oven at 230c for 4 mins.

Queenie Scallops casino

Seared Queenies ‘Casino’

Enough for 2 people as main courses.

  • 4 Rashers of smoked streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 Red Chilli, deseeded & finely diced
  • 2 Sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 Red pointer pepper, deseeded & finely diced
  • 75ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 10ml Tabasco
  • 40ml Lime juice
  • 30ml Vegetable oil

20 Queenie scallops, removed from the shells & cleaned.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan over a medium high heat, fry the bacon with half the vegetable oil,  until it has release it’s own fat & started to colour. Next add the celery, pepper & chilli. Coat with the fat and reduce the heat to a medium temperature and sweat for 2-3 minutes.

Add the Tabasco, Lime juice & Worcestershire sauce and reduce by half. Check the seasoning.

In a hot heavy bottomed frying pan, sear the Queenies for 30 seconds then give the pan a shake & repeat.

Serve.

The three recipes above show the diversity of flavours that Manx Queenie scallops will lend themselves to, which is the main reason I’d recommend them for chefs & foodies looking for that something a little bit different.

Many thanks to Nick at Island Shellfish for supplying some top quality produce for me.

Island Shellfish

The Quay, Port St. Mary,

Isle of Man

IM9 5EA

W: Island Shellfish

T: 01624 834494

E: info@isleofmanqueenies.co.uk


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