Chefs Robert Del Grande
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Seared Sea Scallops with Avocado Relish and Jicama Salad

Adapted from Robert Del Grande

Yield: 4 appetizer servings

8 each large sea scallops, preferably dry-packed
Olive oil for cooking

Avocado Relish

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into small cubes
1/2 white onion, minced
2 serrano chiles, stems removed and minced
2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tomato, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Jicama Salad

2 cups Jicama, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 Tablespoon walnut oil or olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch of hot red chile flakes
Coarse salt to taste

Cilantro Garnish

Approximately 1 bunch cilantro sprigs
2 teaspoons walnut oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt

Avocado Relish
In a mixing bowl, combine the avocado and the remaining ingredients except the tomato. With a large spoon, combine the ingredients while lightly mashing the avocado to form a coarse salsa. Leave bits of avocado unmashed. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent the air from reaching it. Refrigerate until ready. Just before serving, add the chopped tomato and blend to incorporate.

Jicama Salad

Combine all of the ingredients for the Jicama Salad and lightly toss.

Sea Scallops

Select a non-stick skillet that is large enough to hold the sea scallops without over crowding. Heat the skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the oil and sear the sea scallops on each side until well browned. Lower the heat and allow the scallops to slowly finish cooking. The scallops will be done when they are firm but still give under a light pressure. Remove from the skillet to a cutting board.

To serve, slice each scallop horizontally through the center to create 2 round slices of scallop. Place a tight pile of Jicama Salad in the center of each plate. Tightly arrange the 4 slices of sea scallops around each Jicama Salad. Neatly place a spoonful of the Avocado Relish onto each slice of scallop. For the Cilantro Garnish, combine the cilantro sprigs and the remaining ingredients and lightly toss. Place a small pile of cilantro over the Jicama Salad.

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