Early in our marriage my wife and I decided that our kids would eat versions of the same foods ate. For example, as infants they ate non-seasoned pureed vegetables instead of commercial baby food and as they aged we evolved the recipes/dishes to parallel their digestive development. At restaurants they had the choice to order from the big menu instead of the kids one. More often than not they chose the adult menu, especially my son who has been a foodie since about age 3. One of his favorite meals is pan seared sea scallops. So in honor of his accomplishments and hard work in AAU track this summer we prepared these in his honor.
This scallops recipe is quick, simple and tasty. Total cook time is 3 minutes total and what you get is a browned crusty exterior and soft translucent center. The flavor and texture are both generated from technique. The key in the searing process is avoiding the temptation to move the scallops in the pan. Don’t disturb their groove and just let the non-stick pan do its job. Trust the process as my old coach would say. Sear each side for a full minute and a half before removing from the pan.
To top you can use any myriad of sauces such as a simple lime butter sauce. I chose to make a “black” vinaigrette using some black urfa chili flakes. I had the good fortune of coming across these at my local spice shop Savory Spice Shop courtesy of a recommendation from the great staff there. Urfa chili flakes are not a common ingredient but their worth it to get (Savory Spice Shop takes on-line orders) for this and other recipes. If not available, another good substitute is ground coffee.
Great beats, better eats. Enjoy!
Pan Seared Scallops with Coffee Vinaigrette
- 8 large sea scallops
- 1 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablepoon olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Remove the small side muscle from the scallops and wash with cold water.
Place scallops on baking sheet and dry both sides thoroughly with a dry towel and let reach room temperature/
Season scallops on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat oil and butter in nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking.
Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side.
Serve immediately with black chile vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 1 teaspoon coffee very finely ground
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine dry ingredients and vinegar in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until well incorporated. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.