If buying fresh or “previously frozen” sea scallops from the grocery store, be sure to ask for “dry scallops”. “Wet scallops” are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate to make them appear whiter and plumper; they won’t brown properly, and are likely to have a rubbery texture and off taste. The same applies for frozen scallops- avoid anything containing salt or STP (sodium tripolyphosphate).
Roast red bell peppers in the oven or over an open burner until blackened. Close in a paper bag for several minutes to loosen the skin. When cool enough to handle, split the peppers and remove the skin, stem, seeds and ribs. Purée the remaining mass with one or two pequin peppers (careful, these are very hot- you don’t want to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the scallops) and a little olive oil. Season with S&P and set aside.
Make a salsa of dry-toasted fresh corn, tomatoes, scallions, 1/2 finely minced jalapeno, lime juice and S&P.
Pat the scallops dry and sear in a little butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until browned but still opalescent in the middle, about 1 1/2 minutes per side, depending on the size.
Rating ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ +