Seared Scallops with Chili Mango Gastrique

She watched herself in the spotless mirror as she snapped the necklace in back of her neck,  brushed her shoulders back and stood up a little straighter. Pearls. Her heels clicked down the stairs and she sideswiped her shiny Kate Spade Speedy on her way out of the front door. She pointed with a surgeon’s precision and beeped the doors to her sedan unlocked and smiling slyly at the neighbor. She sat down in the driver’s seat and let out an incredible sigh before looking left and then right before backing out of the driveway. Same songs on the radio, she is so sick of this soundtrack. 

She doesn’t normally go into the city, but her man has been out of town and she needs a little fun. Double checking the address she has a flash vision of smashing into the car in front of her. She wasn’t even close to the car, but her heart stops none the less. She put both hands square on the wheel and let out another deep sigh – well at least that would bring a little excitement to this life – she let herself think it for a second, and then immediately pushed it out. She has every reason to be happy, why is she so unsatisfied? A fancy dinner date will help, even if it is with herself. 

Sitting at the table, she sips her water as the waiter recites the Saturday night specials. She checks her lipstick in the reflection on the spoon, and then looks up as he asked – Anyone joining you tonight miss? – She smiled, adjusted the silverware alongside her plate – no, it’s just me and I will have the scallops. 

Seared Scallops with Chili Mango Gastrique
makes two servings with a little extra sauce

3 TB Sugar
2 Dried Chilies, Whole
1 TB White Wine Vinegar
1 Cup Mango Juice
1 ½ Cup Vegetable Broth
10 – 12 Scallops
1 TB Grape seed Oil (Any lightly flavored oil with work)

Place the sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring until the sugar begins to melt and then dissolve. Keep cooking and stirring until the sugar caramelizes in to a deep golden color (about 5 minutes). Gradually add in the vinegar, watch out for sizzling splashes, the mixture will harden and then melt again, after one or two minutes. Add the juice and chilies bring to a boil and allow the sauce to thicken (about 5 minutes). Add in the broth and boil until the gastrique is reduced to about ½ a cup. (About 15 minutes) Spoon out the chilies and discard. Turn heat very low and keep warm while preparing the scallops. 

To sear the scallops; warm the grape seed oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Place in the scallops and cook each side for just under two minutes, or until golden brown. I served these with a little horseradish mashed potatoes and wilted baby kale. Once you plate them, drizzle the sauce over the top and enjoy!

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