Seared Scallops with Pea Purée
- 10 Ounces English peas, cooked
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 Cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 Cup chicken stock
- 1 Pound sea scallops
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 lemon
- Cooked wild rice, for serving
Believe it or not, this was the first time I've ever seared scallops. Yes, it's true. I have a few tips that I picked up on while perfecting these guys that you should know if you're a first-timer, too. One, butter is key. Two, always make sure your scallops are very dry before you sear them. Three, don't overcrowd the pan, because the juices from the scallops will prevent you from properly searing them. The pea purée is a great complement, but keep in mind that you can substitute other vegetables into that as well, such as carrots, butternut squash, or corn.
First, make your pea purée. Add the peas, garlic, and olive oil to a food processor and blend until smooth. Next, add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and pulse a few more times. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the pea purée from the food processor and put it in a small sauté pan. Stir in the chicken stock and keep warm while searing your scallops.
Season your scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Sear the scallops in the butter until golden brown and have the desired texture you'd like, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and squeeze 1/2 the lemon over the scallops. Squeeze the other 1/2 of the lemon into the purée, give it a quick stir, and then smooth a good spoonful of it out onto a plate. Serve 2-3 scallops on top of the pea purée, and serve with wild rice.
Note: For some extra flavor in your scallops, fry a piece of bacon and add the fat to the butter when you're searing them.