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Seared Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree picture

Seared Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree

Scallops just might be the world's greatest fast food. Rich, delicious and simple to make, they are a great addition to any meal. Scallops cook very quickly; don't be tempted to leave them in the pan any longer than stated or they'll get chewy.

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  • For the sweet potato puree:
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (or other potatoes, if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons (or to taste) butter
  • 1/4 cup (or to taste) milk, half-and-half or cream
  • For the scallops:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 to 16 sea scallops, thawed if frozen
  • Chives for garnish (optional)

Serves 4

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2-inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by about 1 inch.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the potatoes are soft when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 20 minutes.  
  3. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Add the butter and milk or cream, and then season them with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Use a potato masher, a ricer or a food mill to puree the potatoes to your desired consistency. Taste and add more butter, milk, cream or salt and pepper as desired. (Note: Potatoes need a lot of salt to bring out their flavor.) Return the pureed potatoes to the original saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. To cook the scallops, heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. When the fat starts to smoke, carefully place the scallops in the pan so that they're not touching each other. Sear on one side for 2 minutes then turn and sear on the other side for 2 minutes more. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center.
  5. Serve immediately atop a dollop of the sweet potato puree, topped with a few chives for garnish, if you like.

Thank you Susan!!!! Your work is inspiring and the food is always great!