Chile-Crusted Scallops With Cucumber Salad
A refreshing salad of cucumbers and roasted cashews makes a nice contrast to these smoky scallops. You can make the salad and scallop skewers up to 8 hours in advance; cover separately and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill.
2 each medium cucumbers
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped (2 ounces)
2 each scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. minced seeded Serrano Chile
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1-1 1/4 lb. dry sea scallops (see Note), tough muscle removed
To prepare salad: Peel and seed cucumbers; quarter lengthwise and slice 1/4 inch thick. Combine the cucumbers, cashews, scallions, lemon juice, oil, parsley and salt in a large bowl.
To prepare scallops: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool, then coarsely chop. Combine the cumin seeds, chile, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Rinse scallops, pat dry and rub with the spice mixture. Thread the scallops onto four 12-inch skewers.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack. Grill the scallops until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Carefully remove the scallops from the skewers. Serve warm with the cucumber salad.
When using wooden skewers: Wrap the exposed parts with foil to keep them from burning. (Contrary to conventional wisdom, soaking skewers in water doesn't protect them.) To oil a grill: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray. Ingredient note: Be sure to request "dry" sea scallops, which have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP). They are more flavorful and will brown properly. Prepare through Step 2. Cover the salad and scallop skewers separately and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. | Equipment: Four 12-inch skewers