The Mint Shop

The Mint Shop

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A frog and a scallop for Russ

Last night we had an unexpected visitor in the garden, right behind the fennel and basil plants. We both jumped - not sure who was more scared! I left quite quickly handing a little stick to Russell as he seems the friend of all creatures (he even picks up spiders from their legs and drops them out of the window!!). The stick was not to beat up the little creature (ohhh, I'm not that cruel..!), but to solicitate the little thing towards the back entrance of the garden which I must admit is becoming a bit too lush...!

Shame I wasn't quick enough to take a picture of it! You just have to imagine it...

Anyway, our little visitor seemed a bit resistant at moving (I wonder what she had glimpsed through the kitchen door - which by the way now is always careflly shut to avoid further surprises!), but with a few kind words it left her secret corner and joined the marvels of the bushes at back of the garden.

Yes I know this story has really nothing to do with cooking or travelling, but hey, isn't my blog after all? However, we did cook...more sea food...I am secretaly turning into a marmaid...

As the weather was gorgeous (but really gorgeous! Not in the usual English sense, not raining-not wearing jumper and rain coat-not stumping your feet to defrost thumbs), we decided to use the last pieces of coal and have a healthy bbq. Last time we went to Aldeburgh we collected some amazing shells, big enough to serve food in it. So I thought it was nice to use them as mini dishes and cook our scalopps in them.

The delicious Ms Dahl makes them with a mush of minty peas with creme fraiche and garlic; I decided to have the peas with mint without the extra calories. And I was right...

So here comes the recipe....

For 2 people


> 4 scallops (or as many as your greediness desires!); 1 chilli; a few slices of fresh ginger; 1 garlic clove; a handful of parlsey and cordiander; a couple of strands of saffron (optional as I know how expensive it is but I stocked up on it last time I was in Syria as it costed a fraction to what you find here); juice of half lime and lemon; dash of white wine.

> 300g fresh peas; a handful of fresh mint leaves; salt and pepper.


> Make the marinade chopping all the above ingredients (except the scallop!), and add the juices and white. Place the scallop in the marinate for 5 minutes (don't leave them in it for too long or the juice will cook them - unless you want to make scallop carpaccio..which could be nice anyway...).

> Cook the peas in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes; drain them and blend them adding the mint and a touch of olive oil. Set aside.

> Place the scallops in the shells and pour the rest of the marinade on top. Cook them on the bbq for a couple of minutes, until the start bubbling.

> Remove from the bbq - using hot hands as the shells will have become really hot by then! Don't do what I did... - and serve on the plate (still in their shell). Spoon some of the minty mashy peas on the side of the shell and eat together with the scallop.

I thought it worked really well.

I have seen
The old pond
Frog jumping in
And sound of water

Sadiqullah Kahn


  1. Mmm. Scallops. Will have to try this one. And who is Ms. Dahl?

  2. The delicious Ms Dahl - the niece of the more famous Roal Dahl. She modelled for a while and has just had a cooking programme (only 6 episodes - too many according to Russell)geared around moods, e.g. selfish, nostalga, celebratory. I thought it was nice. Enjoy the scallops!