Seared Scallops with Pineapple-Ginger Sauce
Searing scallops is one of the best ways to cook them, as the high heat brings out their sweet, briny flavor. For best results, buy "dry" scallops, ones that have not been treated with a sodium phosphate solution. They don’t need to be rinsed, but patting them dry will help them brown. Make sure your skillet is very hot. I like to use a cast-iron pan for searing. Drizzle the scallops with some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
6 Tbs. homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
1/4 cup thawed pineapple juice concentrate
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1-1/2 lb. “dry” sea scallops patted dry
2 Tbs. olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
Tip: You can substitute orange juice concentrate for the pineapple juice in this recipe and use salmon fillets instead of the scallops.
Be sure to ask your fishmonger for “dry” scallops, ones that have not been treated with an STP (sodium tripolyphosphate) solution. “Wet” scallops (ones treated with this solution) won’t brown as well when you sauté them.
Combine the chicken broth, pineapple juice concentrate, and ginger in a small bowl. Set the scallops on a plate and drizzle with the oil; turn to coat. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. About 2 min. before searing the scallops, set a heavy-based 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat and turn on the exhaust fan.
When the pan is very hot, add the scallops. Cook over high heat until they develop an even, rich brown crust, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and transfer the scallops to a plate.
Return the empty skillet to the heat and add the pineapple juice mixture; boil until the liquid reduces by about half. Tilting the skillet so that the reduced liquid is at one side of the pan, whisk in the butter. Spoon a portion of the sauce over the scallops and serve immediately.
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