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Seared Deep Sea Scallops

Herb Ratatouille and Potato Noisettes

from Courses: A Culinary Journey (pg 58)

Serves 6

36 large sea scallops
salt and pepper
vegetable oil for searing
1 lemon, halved

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup onion, large dice
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, large dice
1 green bell pepper, large dice
1 yellow bell pepper, large dice
1 cup zucchini, large dice
3/4 cup eggplant, large dice
1/2 cup black cured olives, pitted
2 cups tomato concasse
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper

3 large potatoes

chopped fresh parsley

Prepare the ratatouille by heating the olive oil in a large heavy pan over high heat. Add the onions and saute. Add the garlic and peppers and saute 4 minutes more. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Reduce the heat, cover and stew. Check the seasoning after 15 minutes and adjust (the cinnamon stick may need to be removed at this stage). Continue to cook for approximately 15 minutes more or until all of the vegetables are tender and the flavors ahve combined well.

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into qauarters. Using a small sharp knife, shape the potato quarters to resemble Brazil nuts. (Seriously, don't you think this is going a bit overboard?) Place the potato noisettes in a small pan, cover with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 12 minutes. Drain and season.

In saute pan, heat a few tablespoons of oil over high heat. Season the scallops well with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops on both sides until well-browned. Reduce the heat moderately and continue to cook until the scallops are just cooked, approximately 6 minutes. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the scallops when done. The scallops should be plump and juicy when cooked. If over-cooked, they will become dry and tough.

Serve the scallops with the ratatouille and potato noisettes and garnish generously with chopped fresh parsley.

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