Ras el hanout spiced sea scallops with Moroccan couscous

4 servings

Ingredients
  • 16 large sea scallops, preferably dry scallops with the side muscle removed
  • 1 tablespoon Pinch of Fancy Ras el hanout
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, julienned
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chiffonade (finely sliced)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 orange
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium saucepan to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, shallots, garlic, cumin and coriander. Sauté until the shallots are translucent, stirring occasionally – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Put dried couscous, 3 T butter, raisins, and apricots into a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Remove broth from heat and pour into the bowl of couscous and dried fruits. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed the broth.
  5. While the couscous absorbing the broth, cook your scallops. First, pat the outside dry with a paper towel.
  6. Sprinkle the scallops with course kosher salt and ras el hanout all over.
  7. Next grab a skillet. I prefer cast iron for searing because they retain heat so well and preheat nicely, but they’re rough on glass-topped stoves.
  8. Heat the skillet until it’s really hot, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat until oil shimmers but does not smoke.
  9. Drop in your scallops. Make sure to give them enough space in the pan so they’re not steaming each other.
  10. Sear the scallops for about 2 minutes on the first side, flip them over then sear on the second side for 2 minutes. Add a small pat of butter to the pan and turn off the heat.
  11. Baste the scallops with the melted butter from the pan.
  12. Once the scallops are done cooking, remove from the pan so they do not overcook.
  13. Add fresh herbs, orange juice, lemon juice, and pistachios to the couscous and fluff with a fork.
  14. Serve with the couscous and either some simple roasted vegetables like asparagus or carrots or a fresh salad of spinach, orange segments, shaved fennel, pomegranate seeds and a squeeze of lemon and olive oil.

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