Pan-Seared Curried Scallops

Scallops are an awesome brain food, full of the omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, which reduces plaque formations in the brain linked to cognitive decline. However, they’re a bit temperamental on the stove. They cook mighty fast, and can turn from tender to eraser-tough in a flash. Pay attention, and you’ll get a plateful of bliss. Here, they’re seasoned with curry and a little coconut and lime, which play beautifully off the scallops’ silky taste.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 6 minutes

12 dry-packed sea scallops
Sea salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, butter, ghee or coconut oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives, or 1 minced scallion, for garnish

Rinse the scallops, then pat very dry with paper towels. This step is very important, especially if you’re using frozen scallops; if they aren’t dry, you’ll be steaming instead of searing them. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and sprinkle the curry powder over both sides of the scallops. Give each one a pat so the curry becomes evenly distributed over the surface.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the scallops to the pan one at a time in a single uncrowded layer. Cook them in two batches if necessary. Let cook undisturbed, until deep golden-brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn and sear the other side until golden and the internal temperature registers between 150°F and 155°F, another 2 minutes. The scallops should be almost firm to the touch. Transfer the scallops to a serving plate and keep warm.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the grated ginger to the pan. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the coconut milk to deglaze the skillet, scraping any loose bits stuck to the pan. Cook the sauce until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the lime juice and any accumulated juices from the scallops. Taste; you might want to add a pinch or two of salt. Spoon the coconut sauce over the scallops, garnish with the chives, and serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.