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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
Directions
  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

Enjoy!

Flamed scallops on quinoa fusilli

A nicely caramelized banana with a touch of a caribbean flair to it is hard to resist!

Bananes flambées

This dessert will make you “bananas”! You’ll want more and more until explosion… ok maybe not until explosion but close to it. This is a personal favorite since I’m a kid. My dad used to make us “bananes flambées”, he was using “Grand Marnier” (a orange cognac) and his beautiful copper pan. He would only use his copper pan … for this particular dish. It was always a bit frightening, as a kid, to see those big flames going up, and after all that adrenaline, you would get to eat the tastiest reward: bananes flambées!

Bananes flambéesIn the Caribbean, they master the art of bananes flambées, they usually use a little extra orange slice to cook the bananas in. Feel free to use a slice of orange or lemon. I add a little cinnamon, butter, rum and cane sugar only. That cane sugar is one of a kind, if you are lucky enough to have some, you can always replace it for brown sugar. The cane sugar, on the other side, way lighter in color, is made from the crushed sugarcane, it’s filled with minerals, antioxidants and is way less processed than normal sugars. It’s like a bite into raw sugar cane! Delicious!

Safety first

Bananes flambéesWhile flaming the bananas, take all the safety precautions… meaning, if you flame your bananas on the cooktop make sure to turn off you hoot, otherwise it will bring the flames into the ventilation pipes… which is dangerous. Also, make sure to pour the rum into a glass first and don’t let it come out directly from bottle … if you do the flaming at the table, like my dad used to do, then make sure the kids are at a safe distance and nothing flammable is around the flames! So…

Let’s get our pyromania impulses loosen up!


Bananes flambées with rum

Makes 2 portions

Instrument
  • lighter or some kind of flame
Ingredients
  • 3 small bananas
  • 40g sugar cane
  • 30g butter
  • 40ml brown rum
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • cinnamon, nutmeg
Directions
  1. Cut the bananas in 2 (on the length)
  2. Melt butter in a deep enough pan, add the bananas
  3. Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg and cane sugar on top of the bananas
  4. Let cook medium high heat, 2 minutes on each side
  5. Add the rum to the bananas, set on fire and lightly shake until the flame disappears
  6. Serve

 

Enjoy!

Bananes flambées