Friday, September 30, 2011

Pan Seared Scallops with Tomato Chutney

Volumes have been written on the correct way to pan sear a scallop.My method is pretty much identical to that way Alton Brown does his. Pat dry your scallops sprinkle with some flour ( I use wegmans pan searing flour, it has a very fine texture) salt and pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of butter and olive oil in a non stick pan until it is almost brown, turn down the heat a bit and add your scallops a few at a time, you don't want to crowd them. Cook for about 2 minutes then flip and cook for another 2 minutes, they should be golden brown on both sides.

The tomato chutney was a spur of the moment idea. I Actually set out to find a tomato marmalade recipe to go with the scallops so I grabbed  Mark Bittmans How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I found the chutney recipe and thought it would be perfect. You are going to need

1/4 unsalted peanuts (I used a mix of cashews and almonds)
3 Tbsp butter or peanut oil
2 tsp black mustard seeds ( I used regular mustard seeds)
6 whole cloves
3 dried thai or other hot chilis (I used one dried thai dragon pepper)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large red onion chopped
2 large tomatoes chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp curry powder
kosher salt

Put the peanuts, butter, mustard seeds, cloves and chilis into a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Cook stirring often for 2-3 minutes until the spices are fragrant, add the cumin and cook for another 2 minutes until the nuts start to brown.

Add the chopped onions and pinch of salt and stir until the onion softens then add the tomatoes, tomato paste and curry powder. Stir and continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Taste and add more seasonings if necessary. I added more curry powder. He recommends letting cool to room temperature for serving, I served it warm over scallops fresh from the pan and it was delicious. Not too overpowering for the scallops and the crunch of the nuts added some great texture to a dish that would have been just soft.

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