Seared Scallops with Cilantro Chutney
I shared my Lapin Bourgignonne with Porcini Mushrooms recipe. I served it for a dinner for a new friend. On a recent flight from Detroit, I ran into this woman named Marla. She is a doctor who loves cooking, has family who teach, and whose father was an artist. We started talking about education since that was the reason for my trip. We talked about travel and international trips we have taken, and artwork we have seen and made. She was an incredibly interesting person.
We started talking about my cookbook and I showed her the copy that I religiously carry with me everywhere these days! She loved looking through the pictures and was interested in all of the different cultures that we have explored. She was coming to Baltimore for a conference and didn’t know too much about the area so I recommended some restaurants and invited her for dinner.
See in America, people always say they are going to do things, it seems like some kind of polite thing you just do, but in Belarus, when you say you will do something, you do it. So I had Marla over for dinner.
I knew I was serving a rather hearty main dish with the Lapin Bourgignonne with Porcini Mushrooms, so I wanted to create a light zesty starter.
I always keep cilantro chutney on hand, it is one of my most popular recipes from my India dinner. It lasts for a long time and is beautiful on pork, salmon, naan, and almost anything I have tried it on.
Today, I decided to serve it with some beautifully seared scallops. It was so delicious, and so quick to make! I highly recommend as a light starter, or over a nice risotto as a main course! Yum!
- cilantro chutney:
- 2 bunches cilantro
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3-4 green chilies
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 12 large scallops, dried with paper towels
- salt and pepper
- Grind cilantro in a blender or grinder. Add remaining ingredients.
- Grind into smooth paste.
- Season with salt and pepper and adjust flavors to your liking.
- Heat oil and butter in a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet on high heat.
- Dab the scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- You must wait until the skillet is incredibly hot. If it doesn’t start to sizzle heavily immediately when you put a scallop on, wait longer.
- Sear the scallops for two minutes per side until you get a beautiful golden sear. Do not overcook.
- Spread 1/4-1/2 cup of the cilantro chutney on the bottom of a serving dish and serve the scallops on top.