Scallops are so impressive, but you never really make them to impress a large crowd! One simply can’t afford it! I love to occasionally have a scallop dish to share with Nico on a weeknight dinner. They are quick to cook and make a regular night feel much more special. A traditional way to serve scallops is a delicious parsley, lemon and butter sauce, if you want to try this version, check out my Lemon and Parsley Scallops with Leek Risotto here!
This time around, I wanted a bit of spice, and some of the freshness of cilantro and lemon from my Indian dinner. I can’t get over that Cilantro Chutney, I secretly have it on constant supply in my home and smear it on almost anything! Cilantro chutney goes so well over seafood, so I knew it would work well here, I was not disappointed.
Nico came home from work early today and caught me in the kitchen giggling and mixing together my Cilantro Chutney and Aioli leftovers from our last dinner. Usually my kitchen capers are not seen by anyone other than myself, I think I managed to explain myself and not look too awkward.
I want to pair these beautiful scallops with the Fingerling Potatoes which we seared yesterday! You can see the full description and recipe for Seared Fingerling Potatoes with Cilantro Chili Aioli here, but I will include the recipe again below for ease of use!
I find it very important to press the potatoes to achieve flat sides for the butter to properly brown the skins. My favorite way to achieve this is by heating up butter in a large (16 inch) cast iron pan, arranging the boiled potatoes on top, and then carefully pressing down with a 10 inch cast iron. If you don’t have an extra pan, simply use a pot or pan, or a heavy knife to gently flatten each potato before browning in butter.
Portion wise…a pound of scallops always serve Nico and I, however, everyone else on the planet insists that a pound of scallops serves 4, but I won’t judge you for eating all of the scallops and saving some potatoes for another dish!
Seared Scallops and Fingerling Potatoes with Cilantro Chili Aioli
1 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes
2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
1/3 cup aioli
1/3 cup cilantro chutney (or see below)
for 1/3 cup cilantro chutney:
1/2 cup cilantro
1 ounce peanuts
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. brown sugar
pinch of ground turmeric
1/2 green chili
1 pound scallops, around 8-10 large
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
- Boil potatoes with 2 tsp. salt and enough water to cover or 10-12 minutes until just soft. Stab with a small knife to check if it is soft. Do not poke too many times though, to avoid damaging the skins.
- Drain and quickly dry the potatoes with a towel.
- Melt butter in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add potatoes and smash down with a second cast iron pan (see above for alternate method). Your goal is to achieve flat surfaces not to flatten to a chip. Try to avoid cracking the flesh.
- Leaving the heavy pan on top, sear for about five minutes on each side or until the skin is golden and crispy. Set aside in a warm place and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix aioli and chutney if already prepared. If not, blitz all of the cilantro chutney ingredients in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Mix with aioli or mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Carefully dry your scallops with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat up the olive oil in cast iron skillet. Make sure the skillet is really hot, this is always the goal any time you are searing anything, but is especially important for scallops.
Total cooking time: 30 minutes, serves 4
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