Friday starts the Giro d' Italia. Although I am not passionate about cycling, -certainly I am not a huge fan at all, I used to follow cycling competitions in Spain. But the news this year is that the Giro starts here in Belfast. As strange as it sounded the first time I heard about it (several months ago I thought they were joking when I was told it for the first time) now I got used to the idea. I think of it now as the most natural thing in the world, after weeks in which the city has been getting covered in pink, I am even getting used to a new form of excitement from kids and adults alike over this event, absolutely new for the place.
I'm still amazed at how surreal the whole thing is, but I am finding lovely all the excitement that surrounds me, and the pride of local people wanting to take the opportunity to show the world how beautiful their home is. It is mixed, however, with my concern over the tremendously chilly weather that awaits the poor runners, who in the end are the real stars of the show, (although sometimes all the showbiz style of this things makes it really difficult to remember that, in the end, this was supposed to be an sport event).
So if any of you follows the Giro “Grande Partenza”, you will almost certainly have a look at the same streets I walk through every morning on my way to work. You might take a glimpse at the impressive University building right close to my office, or see the equally impressive Titanic building (which, by the way, is another of those things that make me smile. You will agree with me that there is some dark sense of humor in making such a tribute to the most famous shipwreck in history. Although, as they say here: “she was perfect when it left here").
If the weather is generous enough and you are lucky, you might also have a spectacular view of astonishing green landscapes, wild seaside and rock cliffs, as wild as they can only be thanks to the wind and constant rain that waters tirelessly this part of the world. And with a bit of luck, just for once, all those good feelings and all those desires of looking forward to the future will be the only news that would come out from here.
So with all this just around the corner what I want is to prepare a colorful , fast , tasty seafood dish as this one that I prepared today.
This is the simplest thing you can do, but it is one of those showstopper starters you will use once and again.
Scallops with crispy bacon and white wine sauce
Ingredients (for 2 people)
8 -10 beautiful scallops without coral (frozen if you cannot get them fresh)
80 grams of bacon or pancetta into small dices
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 glass of white wine ( the better the wine, the better the sauce, so go for the best you can afford)
20 grams of butter
Freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
Some sprouts for garnish ( optional)
Prepare a light béchamel. Start by melting butter. Add flour and cook it slightly before adding the wine. If necessary, add some more wine, until having a creamy light texture. Add a hit of nutmeg, salt and pepper (not too much as bacon will be already salty).
In a large skillet, sautee the bacon in a little olive oil, until crispy, but not dry. Remove and let drain on kitchen paper. In the same pan, at medium heat, fry the scallops lightly. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and serve immediately putting some sauce, scallops and bacon in the dish, and garnishing with sprouts.