You can never go wrong by adding a little crunch to scallops when you sauté them. Usually, you dredge them in flour, cornmeal, or bread crumbs before adding them to the hot pan, and it’s something that most everyone seems to like. But you can take that crunch and give it an intense flavor by dredging the scallops directly in a spice mix. Although you can’t do this with everything—dried herbs don’t get crisp, and some spices are far too strong to use in this quantity—it works perfectly with curry powder, which not only seasons the scallops and their accompanying sauce but gives them the crunch we all crave.
• 3 medium ripe tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 to 2 pounds large sea scallops
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons curry powder, or to taste
• 1/2 cup heavy cream, sour cream, or yogurt, optional
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1/2 cup washed, dried, and chopped fresh cilantro
1.Core the tomatoes (cut a cone-shaped wedge out of the stem end), then cut them in half horizontally. Gently squeeze out the liquid and shake out most of their seeds. Chop their flesh into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes. While it is heating, sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper and spread the curry powder on a plate.
2. Add the oil, then quickly dredge the scallops lightly in the curry powder and add them to the pan. About 2 minutes after you added the first scallop, turn it—;it should be nicely browned (if it is not, raise the heat a bit). When the scallops are all browned and turned, cook for another minute, then add the tomatoes and the cream if you’re using it (if you are using yogurt, lower the heat immediately; it must not boil).
3. Heat the tomatoes through, then taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with the lime juice, stir in the cilantro, and serve.
Keys To Success
SINCE YOU’RE USING a large quantity of curry powder here, it should not be super-hot. (This is obviously a matter of taste, but I prefer a mild, sweet curry.) The powder itself must be fairly fine; if it is too coarse, the resulting crust will be gritty rather than crisp.
DREDGE THE SCALLOPS lightly in the curry, not as heavily as you would in flour.
KEEP THE SCALLOPS rare; they’re at their best that way, and perfectly safe, as long as they’re fresh.
A recipe from Epicurious Magazine