Porcini and Cumin Dusted Scallops with Asian Pears and Vanilla–Truffle Butter


(Serves 4)

4 ripe Asian pears
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 cups white wine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
20 large sea scallops (about 2 lb.)
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon white truffle oil
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped


Peel pears and remove core. Cut pears into (1/2–inch) dice. To prevent browning, place in bowl with lemon juice and enough water to cover.

Combine, in a saucepan, wine and sugar. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add with pod to pan. Bring to boil. Add drained pears and simmer 10 minutes until pears are just tender. Cool pears in wine mixture.

Pat scallops dry. Grind mushrooms to a powder using spice grinder or food processor. Mix in cumin, salt and pepper. Dip flat sides of scallops in mushroom powder.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with oil; cook scallops in single layer without crowding in pan, about 3 minutes per side or to desired doneness. Repeat to cook all scallops. Keep warm.

Remove pears from syrup and divide among serving plates. Bring syrup to a simmer. Whisk in truffle oil and cold butter until sauce is slightly thickened.

Arrange 5 scallops around pears. Drizzle with butter sauce and garnish with chives.