Moroccan-Spice Seared Scallops with Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli
Sautéing scallops are a wonderful fast cooking method to seal in the juices of the delicate seafood, and therefore the flavors. Before adding scallops to a pan, make sure to have the skillet well heated.
Yield: 4 servings
4 large egg yolks
6 garlic cloves, roasted and minced into a paste
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grape seed oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 pounds sea scallops, patted dry
1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
To make the aioli: Whisk together the egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. While whisking vigorously, add oil in drops to form an emulsion. Continue whisking and slowly drizzling in the remaining oil , starting with the extra-virgin and follow with the grape seed, to form a thick sauce. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice as needed. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
To cook scallops: In a small mixing bowl, mix together cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Sprinkle the scallops with salt, pepper and spice mixture; and let sit for 5 minutes. While the scallops are marinating, heat a medium nonstick skillet over high-heat with olive oil. When the oil just starts to shimmer, carefully add the scallops to the skillet, and cook until browned on both sides and just opaque in the center, about 2 minutes per side.
To serve: Transfer the cooked scallops to a warmed serving plate, and serve with a dollop of aioli on the top of each scallop, or on the side. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.