I'm back! It's been forever and an age since I've posted, but I've been keeping up with my international theme the whole while. So today kicks off a week or two straight of recipe posts, to catch up with everything I've missed! March was Asia month and April is Caribbean and Central/South America month.
The recipe below turned out quite yummy. The sauce was just the right balance of spicy and creamy and herb-y. And it reheated rather well, surprisingly (you never know how seafood is going to be, reheated.
Scallops with Spicy Cilantro Chutney
4T raw cashews
1 garlic clove, minced (or pressed)
4 medium-hot fresh green chiles, seeded and freshly chopped
large bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
T Greek yogurt
juice of 2 limes
for the scallops:
12-18 sea scallops (you can present them in the shells, but I didn't bother, since I didn't have shells)
2" piece of fresh ginger
3 scallions, finely sliced
small handful of fresh cilantro or mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
Dry-roast the cashew nuts in a skillet until golden brown. Set aside half the nuts to garnish the scallops (I skipped this step). Blend the remaining cooled nuts to a paste with the garlic, salt and sugar. Add the chili and cilantro and puree. Add the yogurt and 2T of water. Puree until the texture suits your taste (I suppose this is similar to chunky or smooth peanut butter taste? I dunno...I MUCH prefer smooth peanut butter, but for this recipe, I prefer it chunkier, to offset the soft scallops). Transfer the chutney to a bowl and stir in the lime juice. Taste. It should be hot from the chili, sweet from the nuts and yogurt and salty and sour from the lime juice.
Finely slice the ginger into thin shreds like needles and lightly crush the reserved cashew nuts with the back of a knife. These are both used for garnish on the scallops (and I used neither).
Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sear the scallops for 60-80 seconds each side, depending on how big they are. When they're brown and caramelized, put them on a plate. Spoon a little of the chutney over top, sprinkle with ginger and scallion, cashew nuts and fresh herbs. Can be served over quinoa or couscous for a complete meal.