Asparagus and Scallops
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 whole canned chipotle chile pepper, puréed or minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 pound sea scallops
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Lime wedges for garnish
In a small bowl, combine the oil, lime juice, sugar, garlic, chile pepper, and cilantro. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Remove and discard the tough muscle from the scallops.
In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, coriander, salt, and black pepper. Toss the scallops in the cornmeal mixture and set aside.
Pour 1/2 cup water into a heavy skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 4 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
Wipe the skillet and add the butter. Place over medium heat to melt the butter. Add the scallops and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned and opaque.
Divide the asparagus evenly among 4 plates. Top with the scallops. Drizzle with the chipotle dressing, and garnish with lime wedges.
Often scallops are soaked in sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) to help keep them moist. To avoid these chemical-laden scallops, look for scallops labeled Day Boat, Diver, Dry Pack or Chemical-Free. These scallops are more readily available these days and of course, are a much healthier choice. They may not be perfectly white and uniform in size, but those qualities are not natural to scallops; they are man-induced. As always, opt for the most natural products available. And as always, ask questions. The fishmonger should know exactly where the fish is from and how it has been treated.