Chef Mark McKinney demonstrates how to make seared sea scallops.

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Chef Mark McKinney demonstrates how to make seared sea scallops.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo sea scallops
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 10 ounce fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions:

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan; cook 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cool slightly.

While paprika mixture cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil and garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add half of spinach; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining spinach; cook 2 minutes or until wilted. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Divide the spinach mixture evenly among each of 4 plates, and divide scallops evenly among servings. Drizzle paprika mixture evenly over scallops; sprinkle 1 tablespoon pine nuts over each serving.

Yields 8 servings as an appetizer, 4 as entree

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