Almond-Crusted Scallops

From The Washington Post

Almond-Crusted Scallops
Almond-Crusted Scallops

PREP TIME

15

minutes

TOTAL TIME

30

minutes

SERVINGS

2

servings

PREP TIME

15

minutes

TOTAL TIME

30

minutes

SERVINGS

2

servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2

    cup packed blanched almonds (may substitute almond meal)

  • 1/2

    preserved lemon (on the olive bars of some grocery stores and in Middle Eastern markets)

  • 1/4

    cup packed pitted dates

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 3 or 4

    limes

  • 1

    large egg

  • 6

    large dry-pack scallops (do no use frozen)

  • Sea salt

  • 2

    tablespoons sunflower or safflower oil

Directions

Grind the almonds in a mini food processor to the consistency of fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Rinse the preserved lemon well and pat dry. Cut the rind into very thin strips or finely chop it. Coarsely chop the dates. Cut each tablespoon of butter into 3 or 4 pieces. Squeeze enough juice from the limes to yield ¼ cup to 1/3 cup (to taste). Lightly beat the egg in a medium bowl. Add the scallops and turn to coat evenly. Shake excess egg from each one, then transfer to the ground almonds, coating the scallops on the top and bottom, placing them on a plate as you work. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt all over. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the coated scallops; cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and just opaque and slightly yielding to the touch (not quite firm). While they’re cooking, rinse and dry the plate you placed them on before they were cooked. Transfer the cooked scallops to the clean plate. Immediately add the lime juice to the skillet, using a wooden spatula to dislodge any browned bits in the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low; whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time to create a lightly creamy sauce. Increase the heat to medium-high, continuing to whisk; as soon as the butter begins to foam up a bit, remove from the heat (or the butter will start to burn). Return the scallops to the pan along with the preserved lemon and dates. Toss gently or spoon the sauce over them until well coated.

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