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Dining Tip: Seared Scallop with Spiced Crab and Grapefruit

Chef Douglas Keane's recipe hits all the right notes

Posted: April 1, 2013

• 2 tablespoons cumin seed
• 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
• 1 teaspoon star anise
• 1 teaspoon fennel seed
• 1 teaspoon coriander seed
• 5 grapefruits
• Neutral oil, such as corn or grapeseed
• 2 cups red onion, finely minced
• Salt to taste
• 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed
• 2 kaffir lime leaves
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 6 fresh U-10 sea scallops or other scallops that make a total of 2/3 to 3/4 pound, rinsed in cold water and gently patted dry
• 1 pound fresh crabmeat
• Fresh lime juice to taste
• 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1. In a pan over medium-low heat, or on a tray in a toaster oven, toast the cumin, cardamom, star anise, fennel and coriander seed to warm, taking care not to burn or scorch. Allow to cool, then grind finely in spice grinder.

2. To make the onion and grapefruit fondue, begin by segmenting and juicing 3 grapefruits. In a medium pan over low heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions and cook until completely soft. Add grapefruit pulp and juice to pan. Increase heat to high, and rapidly reduce. Cook until the liquid has reduced and the solids break down somewhat. Add salt and 1 tablespoon spice mix (reserving the remainder). Set aside.

3. Juice and strain remaining 2 grapefruits. In a small sauce pot, bring juice, lemongrass, lime leaves and honey to a boil, and reduce by one-third. Add butter and emulsify with a hand blender to make a broth. Set aside and keep warm.

4. Season scallops with salt. In a large pan over medium heat, use a good amount of oil to sear one side. Cook on one side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until scallop is golden-brown and crisp on the bottom. Flip over, turning only once, and cook briefly to warm, basting a little with liquid from the pan to finish.

5. When ready to serve, warm crabmeat in grapefruit fondue. Squeeze in lime juice and fold in cilantro. Do not overheat or crabmeat will get fishy and dry.

6. Place a small amount of crab on each plate. Add 1 scallop (or divide them evenly if you use smaller) on top of each mound and spoon a little of the grapefruit broth around outside. Serves 6 as an appetizer.

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