Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliFlamed scallops on quinoa fusilli is a nice light meal to start the summer. This dish is filled with slightly cooked bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, lime zest and fresh basil leaves. The sauce is mainly a little butter in which the scallops seared in before getting flamed and caramelized with an orange flavored cognac/brandy (Grand Marnier). A divine dish, and so simple to make.

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliWhere I come from, the east part of Canada, scallops are pretty common in our plates. Although, since I’ve been living in Spain, it got quite difficult to find any and when I finally do, they cost so much… So I go to the freezer shop… yes only frozen stuff of all kinds shop, and get my patagonian mini scallops once in awhile. Strange… that in Spain, a seafood lover country, it’s so hard to find any. Although in the West part of Spain, Galicia, they do a meal with scallops in breadcrumbs, ham and onions which sound delicious.

Scallops are mostly wild in Canada, although the farmed scallops are supposed to be sustainable for the environment. Scallops are little filters of the sea, they purify the water from suspended solids, bacterias, etc. They are beneficial for the sea, and apparently hardly need any antibiotics in those type of farming. So… in other words, it’s a good deed to eat them.

Scallops are in many sizes and forms; some like in Canada, come whole with its shell, or some come with the coral (red part) still attached to it, and of course there is many sizes. Back in my homeland, I was used to medium sized scallops, which takes slightly more time to cook, although in this dish, I’ve used those mini patagonian scallops, which take barely 3 minutes to cook. So you’ll have to adjust your timing depending on the size of your scallop. The searing effect is much more easy to caramelize on a medium or big scallops, with the mini kinds… they are cooking too fast to sear good, that why I’ve caramelized them by flaming them.

So let’s flame those precious sea creatures.

 Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilli

Makes 2 portions

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliIngredients
  • a pack of 30 mini scallops 
  • 250g of quinoa fusilli
  • 1 bell pepper finely sliced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes cut into 2
  • 30g of butter
  • 30ml of Grand Marnier (or any Cognac/Brandy)
  • 2 few leaves of basil leaves
  • zest of lime
  1. Unfreeze the scallops (in cold water) and path them dry with a paper towel
  2. Salt and pepper them up
  3. Cook the quinoa fusilli al dente (usually less long than normal wheat fusilli, be careful the package directions often suggest double the time… so go with the old way, try them up)
  4. Bring a wok or pan to high heat
  5. Add the butter to melt
  6. Add the scallops, and let sear them (resist the urge to move them too much if you want a good brown skin) for 3-4 minutes or until golden
  7. Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilliAdd the Cognac/Brandy and flame the scallops (turn off your fan before flaming)
  8. Add the pre-cut pepper, tomatoes and cook another minute
  9. Add the pasta, salt, pepper and mix all together
  10. Serve in bowl, with a few basil leaves and lime zest on top


Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilli

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