This Mexican inspired dish, with the inclusion off scallops, is perfect as a starter for a fancy dinner party. Preparing them ceviche style – where the acidity in the lime juice ‘cooks’ the scallops – means minimal cooking and more time to relax. For an alternative to scallops, opt for other seafood such as crab or shrimp, or a white fish like sea bass. Just keep an eye on the marinating time for the fish as over doing it can make it rubbery and no matter what you use, make sure the raw ingredient is fresh as can be.
- For the ceviche:
- 320g raw scallops
- 80ml lime juice, about three limes
- 1/4tsp salt
- 1/2tsp crush black pepper
- 1 x red chilli, chopped finely
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 2 spring onions, chopped finely
- A handful of coriander, stalks removed, roughly chopped
- Four medium sized taco shells
- For the spiced peanuts:
- 100g peanuts, dry non salted
- 1/4tsp cumin
- 1/2tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
- 1tsp honey
- Squeeze of lime juice.
Quarter the scallops or chop them so they are roughly around 1.5cm in size. Place in a medium bowl and add the lime juice. Add 1/2Tsp of crushed black pepper, a 1/4tsp of salt then stir to combine. Cover with cling film, making sure the scallops are fully covered in the juice and then refrigerate for up to four hours or until the scallops are opaque in colour.
Pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F/Fan 140C/Gas Mark 3. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and then dry fry the nuts until just turning colour, this should take about one minute. Transfer to a bowl and stir in spices, lime juice and honey. Transfer and spread out on a foil lined baking tray, place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, tossing half way through. Remove from oven, let cool and then chop roughly. Set aside for later.
Once your happy with the scallops, drain and then stir in the chilli, cucumber, onions and coriander. Taste and season if necessary. Take your tacos shells and divide the scallop mixture amongst them. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and then serve.
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Can't get your hands on taco shells? Don't worry - you can make your own. Pre-heat the oven at 190C/375F/Fan 170C/Gas Mark 5. Wrap four tortillas in a lightly damp tea towel. Put in the microwave and cook on high for 20 secs. Remove from microwave, brush each side of the tortillas lightly with a little oil and then put them in the oven, draping each one over two bars of the oven shelf - you might need to do this in two batches. Bake for 6-8 minutes until crispy. Set aside until needed.