If you’re planning on presenting these as a taster before the main event, place a tablespoon of creamy grits on each, and squeeze on a few veggies. They make for perfect finger food, but do let the shells cool down a little before handing them out. You can use queen scallops, but you’ll need to reduce the grilling time and, without the shell, they just won’t be as impressive.
1. Prepare your barbecue for direct high heat. If using coal, then you’ll need a mature fire with a decent ash covering.
2. Place a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped nuts and toast them for 4–5 minutes, or until golden. Watch the nuts closely, as they can burn very quickly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it has melted, add the shallot, lemon juice, herbs and cracked pepper. (If you are using flaked salt instead of the crust, add 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic to the saucepan at this point.) Let this cook for a couple of minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
4. Take a scallop and loosen it from its shell. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the melted butter onto it. Repeat with the rest of the scallops. Using long-handled tongs, place the scallops in their shells directly on the coals and cook for 2 minutes. Then carefully and evenly spread a spoonful of the toasted chopped nuts on each scallop and cook for another 1½ minutes.
5. Using the tongs, carefully remove the scallops from the barbecue and place them on a platter. Sprinkle each with a pinch of the Smoked Garlic and Herb Crust (or flaked sea salt, if using) followed by half a teaspoon of Chicken Skin Cracklings and serve immediately.