Part of the amazing biodiversity available in Peru is found in the Pacific Ocean. Living away from the sea, I have adapted conchitas a la parmesana (scallops gratinated with parmesan), a delicious and very popular recipe from the Peruvian coast.
Flashback July 2009 … My son Sebastian and his friend Alberto scallop fishing and enjoying the catch in Paracas, Peru.
For 3 servings as a starter or appetizer:
250 g scallops, approx. 9 big pieces of the meat (the adductor), clean and dry. NOTE: If you prefer, you can use pieces of fish like cod or sea bass instead of scallops. I do this variation as well as my husband has a scallop allergy.
sea salt freshly ground
Optional: 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
12 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons red peppers – finely chopped
1 tablespoon pisco or another spirit of your preference – I use Bärlauch (wild garlic schnaps, 41% vol.) from Lipp, our local distillery. A must-see visit if you are around!
3 teaspoons butter
1 lime – sliced to serve
3 individual baking molds or big scallops shells, empty and clean
Preheat oven: 180°C (350°F)
With a pastry brush spread olive oil over the baking molds/shells.
Distribute scallops on the molds/shells (3×3). Season with sea salt and black pepper. Optional: Season with Worcestershire sauce.
Distribute evenly parmesan cheese, totally covering the scallops with it.
Season with the spirit of your preference.
Top each mold/shell with one teaspoon of butter.
Sprinkle evenly with chopped red peppers.
Bake them in the preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for approx. 10 min.
Increase the oven temperature to 230°C (446°F), place them now in the upper part, and broil for additional 5-8 min.
They are ready when the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.
Serve immediately with lime slices on the side.
A wonderful way of experiencing scallop aquaculture in Peru is available at Inti-Mar, a small, rustic, nice lodge, perfectly located at the National Reserve of Paracas. I was there last May with my girlfriends, and we had the best time, being pampered by Rita’s outstanding kitchen and Luis’s kindness. Check this other review about them by Starperu, and visit Inti-Mar if you can.