Seared Scallops With Curried Pea Sauce

Scallops–one of my favorite mollusks! Like Oysters and Clams, they are bivalve (having two shells hinged together) mollusks, that are very succulent. The key to cooking Scallops is simply a quick sear in a hot pan for about 3 minutes per side. Do not overcook as they will toughen and lose their fine character. Just watch the sides while searing them–they will lose their translucency and become creamy white. You’ll know when it’s time to flip them. Before cooking, rinse under cold water and pat dry thoroughly.

Served with Curried Pea Sauce and Steamed Shiitake Mushrooms

To get started we need the following;

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp green curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
  • about 1 lb Sea Scallops
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • several Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Fresh mint, or parsley, scallions, a few cherry or heirloom tomatoes for garnish
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

The aroma even at this point was wonderful

In a saucepan over a medium-low heat, melt the butter, add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the onion to color.

Add the curry paste and curry powder and cook, stirring until fragrant, 1-2 minutes

Next we add the chicken broth

And in go those fresh peas. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered until the peas are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes to cool slightly. Then ladle the peas and broth (1/2 at a time if you like) into a blender and process on high speed until very smooth. Add a little more broth to thin if necessary.  You can pour the puree through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl if it’s not smooth to your liking. I didn’t do this as it was not necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside while we sear those scallops!

Blended smooth, cracked black pepper added

Heat a large nonstick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the oil and heat until very hot. Add the scallops, and sear, turning once, until lightly brown on both sides, and just opaque in the center. 1-3 minutes on each side. Then remove from the heat and place on paper towels. In the mean-time, in a saucepan over low heat, warm the Green Pea Sauce and plate everything together.

Half-way home and looking good

Plated and garnished–Seared Scallops with Curried Pea Sauce

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