Galicia in the northwest corner of Spain is blessed with over 620 miles (1,000 km) of coastline and mild temperatures. The diet, livelihood, and culture of the Galicans have been shaped by the ocean since man first appeared in the region.
Nicknamed the “region of a thousand rivers,” Galicia is also punctuated with bays and rivers called “rias”. These rias are fed by freshwater estuaries and it is said that it this collision of fresh and salt water is what makes Galician seafoods so special. These rias are abundant with mussels, oysters, and scallops. Much of Spain’s famous tins of octopus, tuna, clams, oysters, and squid come from here. This recipe comes from the capital city Santiago and highlights sweet scallops accented by the region’s signature wine and tomato-based sauce.
Vieras de Santiago- Baked Scallops
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 lb Bay scallops (or sea scallops cut in half horizontally)
- 4 tbsp Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp Parsley, minced
- ½ tsp Dried Thyme
- ½ tsp Crushed dried red hot chili pepper or Cayenne
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups White mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp Brandy or Cognac
- ¾ cup Dry white wine
- ½ cup Tomato sauce
- Bread crumbs
- 3 tbsp Unsalted European butter
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and sauté onions and garlic until wilted. Dry scallops completely. Add scallops to skillet and cook over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring. Lower heat and add parsley, thyme, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove scallops and mushrooms to an ovenproof casserole.
- Pour brandy into skillet and light to burn off alcohol. Add wine and tomato sauce to skillet and bring to a boil. Adjust seasonings and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- When ready to serve, preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Pour sauce over scallops, sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake for around 10 minutes. Serve.