Seared Sea Scallops with Balsamic Reduction

1/2 pound sea scallops                                 $5.00

salt and pepper, to taste                               $free(ish)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar                            $0.50

1 pinch of cracked black pepper               $0.05

1 pinch dried orange peel                            $0.05

Total Cost                                                           $5.60

Get the scallops to room temperature – take them out of the fridge about 10-15 minutes before cooking. If you want to season them earlier, go ahead, and then return them to the fridge. To season, just sprinkle some sea salt and ground black pepper on each side.

About 30 minutes before you want to eat, pour the balsamic into a small saucier and heat over medium-low heat. This is going to be a slow process, and so you’re going to have to be patient. Some folks recommend bringing the vinegar to a simmer and then turning down the heat. We DON’T recommend this method. Instead, slow, low heat will reduce the vinegar and keep it smooth without any scorched taste. So, keep an eye on it. If it’s about to simmer or simmering, quickly reduce the heat. You just want to see the steam rising off the top, no bubbles.

About 15 minutes before eating, heat a cast iron skillet. Once hot, add the scallops, searing on each side for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat and let rest for about 3-5 minutes. Pour the balsamic reduction into small tapas plates, arrange the scallops on top, and then sprinkle the cracked pepper and orange peel on top. ENJOY!

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