We love this buttery, New Orleans-style dish. Make sure you get the scallops to sizzle to get them just to the right temperature and don't forget to add plenty of the Aroma Hot sauce for an extra kick.
FOR THE SALSA:
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped fennel fronds
- 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
FOR THE SCALLOPS:
- 1 pound large dry-processed sea scallops (about 12)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- ¼ cup Crystal hot sauce (Frank’s or Texas Pete’s can be substituted; do not use Tabasco)
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) chilled butter, cut into cubes
- Make the salsa. Mix shallot, fennel fronds, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
- Pat scallops dry on both sides with a paper towel; they must be extremely dry. Sprinkle one side with kosher salt and a small grind of black pepper.
- Heat oil in a good-quality, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot and begins to shimmer and release a slight amount of smoke, place scallops in the pan in a single layer and reduce heat to medium. (Depending on the size of the pan, scallops may have to be cooked in two batches.) Let cook undisturbed for approximately 2 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown and caramelize. Flip scallops, cook for another minute and then remove to a warm plate.
- Turn heat back to medium-high and add wine, lemon juice and hot sauce, stirring to remove browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce for a minute or 2, then turn heat to low. Whisk in butter, a tablespoon at a time, until sauce becomes emulsified and glossy. Stir in any juices from the scallops, then remove from heat.
- To serve, spoon sauce onto four individual plates or a platter, place scallops on sauce and top each with a spoonful of salsa.