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Cajun Seared Scallops With Near-Guacamole

Save this recipe for occasions when you find those sea scallops that are almost the size of filet mignons. Sea scallops that size are wonderful, and lend themselves particularly to pan-searing. In our part of the world, this verges on blackening, and that’s just fine, assuming the pan is really hot and you don’t let the scallops sit there too long. They should bulge after cooking.

The salsa is essentially my recipe for guacamole, but with the avocados sliced on top instead of blended in.

Scallops

  • 1 lb. sea scallops, the bigger the better
  • Creole seasoning
  • Salt
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tomatillos, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco jalapeno pepper sauce
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, skinned and seeded, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 2 Hass avocados, ripe but not soft, sliced into 8-12 slices each
  • 8 sprigs cilantro, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 green onion, tender green part only, sliced

1. Heat a black iron skillet over high heat.

2. Check the sea scallops to make sure they’ve been well trimmed (sometimes you”ll find some fibrous stuff at the edge). Coat the sea scallops generously with Creole seasoning and a little salt. Roll them through the melted butter and put them, still dripping, into the hot pan. Cook them for about a minute on top and the bottom. (Don’t cook the sides.) They’re ready when they’re distinctly brown but still bulging at the sides.

3. Combine all the sauce ingredients up to the avocados in a food processor. (You can use that to do the chopping.)

4. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the sauce onto the plate. Place four to six scallops on the plate (depending on size). Put the avocado slice between them. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.

Serves four.

The salsa is essentially my recipe for guacamole, but with the avocados sliced on top instead of blended in.
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