The keys to perfectly seared scallops are a very hot skillet and not overcrowding the pan. Simmer scallops in the stew only until they are done so that they remain tender. For an elegant presentation, set aside some of the sautéed leek to garnish each serving.
1 pound large sea scallops, cut in half horizontally (about 12 scallops)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced leek (1 large)
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 cup dry white wine or fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained well
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
How to Make It
Pat scallops dry with a paper towel; lightly coat scallops with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add one-third of scallops; sear 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove scallops from pan. Repeat procedure twice with remaining scallops.
While scallops cook, heat olive oil in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add leek and garlic; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add wine and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Add scallops, and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half.
Combine cilantro, breadcrumbs, and lemon rind in a small bowl; stir well. Ladle stew into individual bowls; top with breadcrumb mixture.