Paprika-Crusted Scallops With Roasted Red Pepper Coulis

Paprika-Crusted Scallops With Roasted Red Pepper Coulis: Paprika-crusted pan-seared scallops atop a simple puree of roasted red pepper, a pinch of garlic and dash of sherry vinegar make a quick elegant meal.

The paprika crust on these seared scallops combines nicely with the flavors of the roasted red bell pepper coulis. The flavors are simple but pungent. Serve with a side of steamed basmati rice and some sweet peas with butter and sea salt for a quick yet elegant meal.

Paprika-Crusted Scallops With Roasted Red Pepper Coulis

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb dry sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the coulis:
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, skin removed (jarred is okay)
  • 1/4 of a small clove garlic, minced (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry (or red wine) vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the roasted pepper, garlic, olive oil and sherry vinegar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Important note ~ be sure that you don't overdo the garlic. Being raw, it can easily overpower the dish.

Combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small, shallow bowl. Lightly press each end of every scallop into the spice mixture to coat and set aside on a plate.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, swirl to evenly coat the surface of the pan.

Quickly begin adding the scallops, one at a time, seasoned side down. It's important not to crowd the scallops in the pan, so cook them in two batches.

Sear the scallops for 1-1/2 minutes on the first side, turn with tongs and cook for an additional 1-1/2 minutes. Quickly remove to a clean plate to keep warm while the second batch cooks.

To serve, spoon a portion of the coulis on the plate and top with the scallops.

Makes 4 servings

About the scallops:
The word "dry," when referring to scallops, means that they have not been soaked in the brine-like solution often used to help prevent them from losing their natural moisture. If not clearly marked, ask your fishmonger if the scallops you're buying are "wet" or "dry." Use only the "dry" variety in this recipe as you will not be able to sear the "wet" type properly.

Be sure that you work quickly with the scallops and don't overcook them. When cooked in a moderately hot pan, a minute-and-a-half per side should do it. You are looking for a little bit of a crust around the edges and a creamy colored, slightly translucent center.

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