RECIPE: Citrus-seared Sea Scallops with Southwestern-spiced Lentils, Country-fried Cremini and Mexicali Cucumber

Citrus-seared Sea Scallops with Southwestern-spiced Lentils, Country-fried Cremini and Mexicali Cucumber

For the Scallops

  • 10-12 each large sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt – to taste
  • 1 ounce each of fresh lemon and lime juice

For the Lentils

  • ½ cup cooked Lentils (any variety cooked al dente)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro

For the Cucumber

  • 10-12 ounces cucumber – diced or sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste or sriracha chili sauce
  • 2 ounces lemon and lime juice (1 ounce of each)

For the Mushrooms

  • 6-8 medium cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 each large egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Garnish

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • A few sprigs of cilantro

Directions

Each component of this recipe can be made separately from one another and stored until use.

For the scallops, dry them off with a paper towel and season with salt. In a hot pan under high heat, add the olive oil and scallops and sear off one side only until golden brown. Once brown, flip the scallops over and sauté for only a couple more moments before adding the citrus juice.

For the mushrooms, your choice as to whether or not to cut the mushrooms. I typically quarter them and dreg them in the corn starch. Then coat the mushrooms with the egg that has been whisked. Once thoroughly coated, add the mushrooms back into the corn starch and cover completely. Immediately fry them off until golden brown and season with salt and pepper as soon as they are complete.

For the cucumber, cut into any shape desirable and sprinkle with salt. Add the citrus juice, chili sauce and let the cucumbers marinate. Serve chilled.

For the lentils, boil water or stock and add the lentils. A 2 to 1 ratio of water to lentils is OK. Cook until al dente. If there is leftover water once done, strain any excess water and mix well with the ancho chile powder, orange juice, garlic and cilantro. This side dish can be served either hot or cold.

Recipe from Chef Rob Koeller, owner of Culinary Concepts & Hospitality Consultants