Friday, March 6, 2015

Pan Seared Scallops with Asian Chili Mayo

Pan Seared Scallops with Asian Chili Mayo

For Catholics, this time of year is the season of Lent, a period of weeks when we reflect and rejoice on the goodness of life and the love of Christ. As to our food, every Friday is all about seafood, and my pan seared scallops are quick, easy and too delicious for words. Everyone always wants seconds!

I first served these delightful scallops at a summer cocktail party that I catered on a deck overlooking the water, and they were an instant hit. I now serve them for any given event and also at home with my family. Like my recipe for Garlic Shrimp with Vodka Cocktail Sauce, this is also a recipe that can be served on Asian hors d’oeuvre spoons. Just add a small dollop of the chili mayo onto the spoon, topped with a scallop and garnished with curly parsley.

A special note for when you are purchasing scallops: Always ask your fishmonger for scallops that are not treated with chemicals. They may not look as white and fresh as the treated scallops, but they are actually a much better quality, and they will sear wonderfully in your pan. Treated scallops will only steam, and you will never achieve that heavenly golden crust.

1 pound sea scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Asian chili sauce
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped 

Pat scallops well with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Warm butter and olive oil in a saute pan. Add the scallops, and sear 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. ( Do not overcrowd the scallops or they will steam! Sear them in batches if needed.)
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, chili sauce, red pepper flakes and parsley. Serve scallops with Asian chili mayonnaise.

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