Scallops with their bright orange roes come in decorative shells. The fish itself sits on a flat fan-shaped shell and is enclosed by a similar concave one (the one scallops are traditionally served in).
This curved shell has become a religious and cultural symbol: the shrine of St James the apostle at Compostella in Spain has adopted the scallop shell as its emblem, and scallops themselves have been named after the saint – hence Coquilles St Jacques.
Scallops are a great delicacy, and in fact some of the best scallops in the world come from British waters, off the Isle of Man, and the Cornish and Irish coasts.
Large king scallops with their bright orange coral attached, cook very quickly, the corals taking only a few seconds, so they are usually removed and added to the pan shortly before serving. Smaller scallops, often called queenies, taste just as good.
China Bay scallops, which come white part only, are perfectly bite sized. Either way, scallops are a great delicacy and it's wonderful that they're now so easily available.
When you're buying scallops, as with other shellfish, it's obviously best to buy them as fresh as possible (ie live in the shell); if their shells are closed you can be sure they're fresh. Don't worry if you're nervous about these things, the fishmonger will open and clean them ready for you. Some shops sell scallops already prepared, in which case you'd do well to make sure they look plump, firm and upright. If scallops look at all sad and soggy, then they've probably been prepared rather too long ago.
An acceptable alternative to fresh scallops are the frozen ones – not so good, of course, but better than none.
There's more than a hint of French influence in this superb seafood recipe - just the thing for a luxurious starter or main course when you really want to push the boat out!
A crunchy rosti topping is ideal for a fish pie, providing a contrast of textures with the soft, creamy fish and seafood beneath. Perfect for easy entertaining.
As Delia says, this recipe is unanimously agreed within food circles, to be the best lentil recipe in existence. Why not give it a try and see what you think?
This really is one of the most luxurious and delicate soups imaginable. It is very easy to prepare and cook, but perfect for a special occasion. Crisp, golden croutons are lovely sprinkled over the top of a bowl of hot or chilled soup.
A superb special-occasion recipe when you need to rustle something up unexpectedly, as all the ingredients come from the storecupboard or the freezer. Yet it's so sumptuous!
A quick and easy cheat supper that is bound to become a favourite, with its combination of scallops and garlic butter crumbs.
From the freezer and storecupboard to the table in roughly 20 minutes. Not bad.
The absence of high street fishmongers nowadays always poses problems, so it's important to point out that this recipe can be made using all frozen shellfish and any variety of white fish.
Fresh scallops are very plump and good around Christmas time, and this is my own favourite way of serving them. The recipe has the advantage of requiring no last-minute fuss - it even freezes well and can be cooked straight from the freezer.