Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Seared Scallops with Thai-Scented Pea Puree

I have been making this for years, and it's one of our all-time favorite dinners. I originally found this recipe on Nigella Lawson's website.
It is utterly, fabulously delicious--the tender, sweet seared scallops; the creamy, tangy, curry-scented pea puree; the rich, bright lime-butter sauce. An incredibly impressive, civilized meal, especially accompanied by a cold glass of white wine--but one that can be put together in 20 minutes at the end of a long work day. There are only 7 ingredients (not counting salt), most of which can be kept in the freezer.
Make immediately--totally, utterly fabulous.

Ingredients (serves 2) 

8-10 large scallops
1 bag of frozen baby peas
1 TB Thai green curry paste
2 TB full-fat plain Greek yogurt
3 TB butter
juice of 2 limes
chopped basil and cilantro (tastes best when you mix both--but either on its own is also fine)

What to do
Your scallops should be completely defrosted. The secret to a well-seared scallop is to get your scallops AS DRY AS POSSIBLY. This is especially important with previously frozen scallops, which are usually injected with extra liquid to make them freeze better.
To dry them, lay them out on a few layers of paper towels, then lay a few more layers on top. Let them dry this way for at least ten minutes (you may need to replace the towels if they get soaked through).

While the scallops are drying, make the pea puree! Boil a bag of baby peas.

After the peas are boiling, drain them and put into a blender. Add the Greek yogurt and green curry paste. Blend!

I have enough curry paste for the next five years. 

Leave in the blender until ready to serve.
Now it's time to sear your scallops. Melt three tablespoons of butter in a skillet. When the butter is totally melted and nearly smoking, place the scallops into the pan. Place them so they DON'T TOUCH and DON'T wiggle the pan around--you want them to stay in one place. Sear for about a minute and a half on each side, turning with tongs.

Pour some of the puree onto both plates and place the scallops on top.

Turn the heat off and pour the lime juice into the leftover butter. Stir it around, scraping up any bits on the bottom. Pour the sauce over the scallops and peas. 
Sprinkle with herbs!
You're done!


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