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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN

Healthy Recipe, Scallops with Spicy Beans




You don’t need a culinary diploma to achieve beautifully seared, restaurant-quality sea scallops on your own stovetop. A good, heavy skillet (not nonstick), a watchful eye, and a few simple tricks is really all you need to pull off this impressive-seeming feat. And these days, the individually flash-frozen scallops available in your supermarket freezer case can taste as tender and sweet as the ones fresh off the boat.


Scallops are a low-fat, nutrient-loaded source of protein that plays well with numerous flavor combos. This fast one-skillet meal, adapted from Alison Roman’s “Nothing Fancy,” is a keeper — full of tang, spice, and vitamin C. Canned white beans, tossed in the sizzling skillet for a few minutes before serving, supply a starchy component that melds deliciously with the other ingredients. You can easily reduce the number of scallops if you’re only cooking for two — but go ahead and use the whole can of beans. Any leftovers can be mixed with the other ingredients for a salad the next day. Serves 4. RECIPE HERE. – Susan Puckett


Ingredients

· 4 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and thinly sliced

· 2 tangerines or small oranges, peeled, thinly sliced, and seeds removed

· 1 small jalapeño chile, thinly sliced (seeds removed for less heat)

· 1 small shallot, thinly sliced

· 2 medium limes, 1 juiced (about 2 tablespoons) and 1 cut in wedges for serving

· 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

· Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

· 1 ½ pounds sea scallops, thawed according to package directions if frozen, tough side muscles removed

· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

· 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or navy beans, drained and rinsed

· 2 teaspoons Aleppo-style pepper or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or less, to taste)

· Tender cilantro leaves and stems for garnish

· Corn tortillas or rice for serving, optional


Instructions

1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatillos, tangerines, chile. shallot, lime juice, and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil; season with ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste) and several grindings of black pepper and set aside.

2. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season them lightly with salt and pepper on both sides.

3. In a large, cast-iron or other heavy skillet (not nonstick), heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallops in batches to avoid crowding the skillet and press them lightly with a fish spatula for good contract with the skillet. Sear on both sides until deeply browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

4. Transfer the scallops to a large plate or serving platter. Without wiping out the skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, followed by the beans and the pepper flakes, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges.

5. Cook, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the beans have absorbed the seasoned juices in the pan, about 3 or 4 minutes.

6. Transfer the tomatillos and citrus to a large serving platter, top with the beans and scallops, and garnish with cilantro. Drizzle with a little more oil before serving. Serve with tortillas or rice if desired.


Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

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