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Seared Sea Scallops on Roasted Peanut Cilantro Sauce

Seared Sea Scallops on Roasted Peanut Cilantro Sauce

From: Executive chef Robert J. Mancuso, Sardine Factory Restaurant, Monterey, CA, first place appetizer category winner of a recent Peanut Advisory Board Chef's Recipe Contest. Yield: 4 servings.

3/4 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup malt vinegar
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground
1 Tbsp. tarragon, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp. chervil, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp. shallots, minced
1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, cut in 1/2"dice
1 Tbsp. garlic, fresh, minced
1 Tbsp. coriander seed, whole
1 tsp. black pepper, ground
1 tsp. thyme leaves, fresh, chopped
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, whole
2 cups packed cilantro leaves, fresh
2 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. pure olive oil
12 sea scallops, large, 1 1/2 oz. each
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup roasted peanut-cilantro sauce
8 oz. spring lettuce mix
1/4 cup peanut dressing
40 dry roasted peanuts, whole

For dressing: Whisk the oil into remaining ingredients in an appropriate bowl until blended. Cool quickly, per HACCP procedures, to below 40°F. Shelf life is 24 hours at 40°F.

For sauce: Add sesame oil to an appropriate pan over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the coriander, black pepper and thyme and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the water and bring to a low simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into a blender with the peanuts and cilantro and puree for 1 minute to a smooth consistency. Hold hot at 140°F for service. Shelf life: 2 hours at 140°F. Discard if left over.

Add the oil to a saute pan over high heat. Season the scallops with salt and sear to golden brown on both sides. Drain scallops on clean toweling. Coat the plate with 1/4 cup of the roasted peanut-cilantro sauce. Toss the lettuces with dressing in an appropriate bowl and mound in center of plate over the sauce. Arrange 3 scallops around the greens and garnish with the peanuts. Serve immediately.