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Seared Spiced Scallops with Cumin & Fennel Scented Pea Puree and Chilli Oil

For the Chilli Oil:

3 Kashmiri chillis (long, mild red chillies)
1/4 cup light olive oil or any other kind of oil, except for extra virgin oil
Pinch of salt

For the Cumin and Fennel Scented Pea Puree:

2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable oil, don't use olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon or salt to taste.

For the Scallops:

9 scallops, fresh or frozen (thawed, if frozen)
2 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable oil, don't use olive oil)
1 teaspoon homemade Madras curry powder
Pinch of whole cumin seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Make the chilli oil first. Toss the chillies in a hot pan for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Using a mortar and a pestle (or a spice grinder) crush very coarsely. Whisk together the crushed chillies, oil and salt, and leave to infuse for at least 1 - 2 hours, ideally 4 hours to overnight. Using a fine sieve, strain the oil into a clean bowl, discarding the crushed chillies. It will keep for a week or more (I haven't tested it any further) in the fridge.

To make the cumin and fennel scented pea puree, bring a pot of water to the boil. Place the peas in the boiling water for 3 - 5 minutes, until tender. Drain and refresh under cold water.

Heat the oil in a small pan, and add the cumin and fennel seeds. Toast for about 30 seconds, constantly stirring, until the seeds start to crackle.

Place the peas in a blender, and add the cumin and fennel seeds, along with any oil in the pan. Puree to the consistency of your liking. I like it medium coarse. Use a few tablepoons of water to help puree the peas, if you have to.

Season with the salt or to taste. This pea puree can be made in advance as well, and kept in the fridge. Reheat gently before serving.

Make the spiced scallops. Rinse and dry the scallops thoroughly.

Heat the oil to just below smoking point. Add the Madras curry powder and quickly toast for 30 seconds.

Add the scallops in a single layer in the pan. They should sizzle as they touch the hot pan. Sprinkle over salt and pepper to taste.

Depending on the size of your scallops, fry for 2 - 3 minutes on each side, until caramelized. Keep shaking the pan as you fry them, and take care not to overcook them. To check if they are cooked, press lightly with your finger on top. If the scallop is firm, its cooked.

To serve, place a few tablespoons of warm pea puree on a plate. Top with three scallops, and drizzle with the chilli oil. Serve immediately.

Recipe from: http://foodfootballandababy.blogspot.com/
Author: Michelle Peters - Jones
Please do not plagiarise

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