SUPERBLY HERBY CRUSTED SCALLOPS OVER ORANGE FENNEL ISRAELI COUSCOUS WITH AVOCADO
1 pound sea scallops
½ cup corn starch
½ cup corn meal
1 tablespoon Dish off the Block Superbly Herby Spice Blend
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fennel bulb, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 large leek, chopped white and light green parts (about 2 cups)
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Dish off the Block Superbly Herby Spice Blend
2 ½ cups chicken stock
2 oranges, zested and supremed
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (plus more for garnish)
1 avocado, chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and remove the small muscle on the side of each scallop if has not already been done.
Combine the corn starch, corn meal, and Superbly Herb spice in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Beat the eggs in another small bowl.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a deep, non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
Dip the scallops in the breading mixture first, then coat with egg, and dip back in the corn meal mixture to coat. Place the breaded scallops on a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to cook.
When the pan is very hot and the butter is bubbling, add the breaded scallops to the pan, careful not to crowd them. You may want to do this in 2 batches. Let them cook about 2 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Place them back on the baking sheet and into the oven to keep warm until ready to serve.
To the pan drippings, add the additional 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add half of the fennel, the leeks, and garlic to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until the fennel is softened.
Add the couscous, salt, pepper, and Superbly Herby to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring as the couscous gets toasty brown, about 3-4 minutes. Gradually add the chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, waiting for the liquid to completely absorb before adding more (kind of like making risotto).
Once all of the liquid is added, the couscous should be tender, but with a little ‘bite’. Reduce the heat to low. Add the orange zest (I do this right into the pan) and basil and toss to coat.
To ‘supreme’ the oranges, cut the top and bottom off and place on a cutting board (cut side down so it is stable). Then, slice off the peel and pith so that only the fruit is exposed. Then, over the pan (so the juices fall into your couscous), slice the segments out between the membrane. Then, squeeze any excess juice out of the membrane and discard it. This creates tender slices of orange with no membrane.
Add the avocado to the pan and gently toss so everything is evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve the couscous with several scallops on top. Garnish with more basil and devour.