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Pan Seared Scallops with Creamy Romesco and Asparagus

Scallops with Romesco Sauce
  • 1 lb of Downeast Dayboat scallops, fresh or frozen. If using frozen scallops, thaw according to package instructions.
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, butter or Ghee

  • 4 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) toasted walnuts

For the Sauce:

Place chopped red pepper on shallow baking pan , lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Roast for 12 minutes or until the pepper looks slightly charred. Remove from oven. Add asparagus to same pan and roast for 12 minutes.

As the asparagus is roasting, place peppers, vinegar, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne in blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. With blender running, slowly drizzle in oil until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add walnuts and blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute longer. (For smoother sauce, strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids.) Transfer sauce to bowl and season with salt to taste
For the Scallops:
  1. Get a heavy bottomed-pan nice and hot. 
  2. When pan is hot, add a thin layer of coconut oil or a mixture of butter and olive oil. Don't use straight butter - the smoking point is too low so you'll set off the fire alarms! And don't put too much oil in the pan or it'll splatter.
  3. Pat your scallops dry (they have a natural moisture even when totally "dry"), season with salt and/or pepper and place in the pan.  Make sure there's at least an inch between your scallops.  If you crowd the pan, they'll steam.
  4. Cook for about a minute on the first side.  Then use tongs to look at the side that's been against the pan.  If it's nice and brown, flip it.  If it's not, put it back and wait until it is.
  5. They should cook for between one and two minutes on the first side, and a little less on the other side, depending on how big they are and how hot your pan is. Remove from pan and set aside.
Put 2-3 spoonfuls of sauce on the pate, add warm pan seared scallop on top of sauce and serve with roasted asparagus.

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