I have spent my many years as a mom enjoying the fact that my sons have always been adventurous eaters. This means their food choices were always uninhibited, never boring, and they happily enjoyed and indulged in countless culinary wonders with their mom.
As my boys were raised behind the scenes in a busy restaurant, they found very little to be out of the ordinary, and they would welcome every new taste until it was simply a mouthwatering way of life.
Unlike some of their peers, my sons especially loved seafood! Shrimps, clams, scallops. calamari, baby octopus and mussels were part of our diet, and I was always creating new recipes for such fare. I first served these delightful pan-seared scallops at a summer cocktail party that I catered on a deck overlooking the water, and they were an instant hit. I now serve them for any given event, and my sons enjoy them immensely!
As this recipe fits with most any occasion, you can serve them as a main dish or an appetizer. They can also be served on Asian hors d’oeuvre spoons. Just add a small dollop of the chili mayo onto the spoon, topped with a scallop and garnished with curly parsley.
A special note for when you are purchasing scallops: Always ask your fishmonger for scallops that are not treated with chemicals. They may not look as white and fresh as the treated scallops, but they are actually a much better quality, and they will sear wonderfully in your pan. Treated scallops will only steam, and you will not achieve that heavenly golden crust.
PAN-SEARED SCALLOPS WITH ASIAN CHILI MAYO
1 pound sea scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Asian chili sauce
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Pat scallops well with a paper towel. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Warm butter and olive oil in a saute pan on medium heat. Add the scallops, and sear two minutes on each side until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the scallops or they will steam! Sear them in batches.)
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, chili sauce, red pepper flakes and parsley. Serve scallops with Asian chili mayonnaise.