How to cook Spicy Seared Scallops:
These scallops are seared and then covered in marinade of wine, chiles, vinegar, and garlic, very similar to a ceviche mixture, but cooked. This is best if made in the morning, then allowed to sit at room temperature all day, infusing the sweet scallop meat with smoky, garlicky flavors of the marinade which itself is delicious sopped up with bread.
1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 dried red chile peppers, minced
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
Start this recipe at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. Pat the scallops dry and season on the both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the scallops until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to a shallow earthenware dish. Strain the cooking oil, wipe the skillet clean, and return the oil to the skillet. Add the chile peppers and garlic and cook until the garlic is golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika, bay leaves, vinegar, wine, and 1/2 cup of water.
Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Add the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, stir, then pour the liquid over the scallops. Leave the scallops and mixture to marinate at least 2 1/4 hours at room temperature.
makes 16 servings as part of a buffet