Spice-Crusted Scallops with Crisp Capers
- TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
- 1/3 cup strained fresh orange juice
- 1 hard-cooked large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup capers, preferably nonpareil, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 medium pink grapefruit
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 16 large sea scallops (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- Mint leaves and tarragon leaves, for garnish
- In a small skillet, simmer the orange juice over moderate heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a blender. Add the cooked egg yolk, rice vinegar and mustard and process until smooth. With the machine on, add 1/3 cup of the olive oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water and keep the sauce warm; do not boil.
- Wipe out the skillet. Add the canola oil and heat until shimmering. Add the capers and cook over moderately high heat until they open slightly and begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the capers to paper towels to drain.
- Using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit, removing all the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the segments into the bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the ground coriander and cumin. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and dip half of each scallop into the spice mixture to coat it. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until almost smoking. Add the scallops in a single layer and cook over high heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn the scallops and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of the warm sauce onto each of 4 plates. Arrange the scallops on the sauce and place the grapefruit segments around them. Scatter the capers and herbs over the scallops and serve right away.
A tart, lemony Sauvignon Blanc from Australia or California will best complement the spiced seafood.