Scallops Poached in Achiote Sauce
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 ounces achiote paste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups fish stock or clam juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 pounds sea scallops, muscle removed, or rock shrimp
- 1/2 cup capers or Pickled Red Onions (recipe below) for garnish
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. saute the onions with the salt until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and achieve paste and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to avoid scorching. Add the tomato paste and pour in the fish stock or clam juice and boil 5 minutes longer. Stir in the pepper and vinegar and remove from the heat.
Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree. Pass through a strainer. The sauce keeps up to 4 days.
To finish, pour the sauce into a large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the scallops or shrimp, reduce the heat to medium and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Serve over a bed of white rice and garnish with the capers or pickled onions.
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