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Best Friends with seared scallops and cured pork belly

Yields1 Serving

Back by popular demand is our Best Friends. Seared u10 eastern sea scallops with cured pork belly. Pomegranate molasses and a chili garlic drizzle for a match made in heaven

 12 fresh 10/20 scallops, abductor muscle removed*
 12 each 2-inch by 2-inch by 1-inch thick slices of braised pork belly, recipe follows
 2 tbsp canola oil, divided
 3 tbsp chile garlic oil, garnish, recipe follows
 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses, garnish
 micro greens/herbs, garnish
  salt and pepper, as needed
 *The abductor muscle is also called the foot. It is a small rectangular tab of fibrous muscle attached to the side of some scallops.
Braised Pork Belly
 1 lb uncut bacon slab
 1 cup water
 1 cup soy sauce
 ¼ cup aji mirin
 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
 2 tbsp brown sugar
 2 each star anise
 1 cinnamon stick
 2 bay leaves
 1 tsp whole peppercorns
Chile Garlic Drizzle
 1 stalk lemongrass
 ½ cup canola oil
 1 tbsp sesame oil
 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
 2 tbsp green onions, minced
 1 tbsp fish sauce
 5 red Fresno chilies, stems removed and coarsely pureed in a food processor
The Prep

1. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a sauté pan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until just shimmering. Add scallops and sear for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and sear for an additional minute or until slightly opaque in the center. Set scallops aside.

3. In a clean saute pan over medium high heat add oil and sear chilled pork belly for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until crispy and heated through.

4. To serve alternate scallops and pork belly on a serving patter, drizzle with garlic chile oil and pomegranate molasses. Garnish with micro greens.

The Pork Belly

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

2. Place bacon slab in a dutch oven or roasting pan. Add water, soy, aji mirin and vinegar. Sprinkle in the brown sugar, peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Cover tightly (use a couple layers of tinfoil if you don’t have a heavy lid for your dish) and roast in the oven 3-4 hours.

3. Remove from oven, uncover and let cool in the liquid until it reaches room temperature. Once cool, put it in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight.

The Drizzle

1.Peel outer 2 layers of lemongrass. Trim top two-thirds (skinny part) and discard. Trim very bottom root end. Cut lemongrass in half lengthwise and then finely slice lemongrass into very thin half moons.

2. Place canola and sesame oil together in small saucepan over low heat. Add lemongrass. Cook on low for 15-20 minutes or until small bubbles from the lemongrass subside.

3. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

4. Add garlic, green onion, fish sauce and chilies. Stir well and allow to sit 30 minutes. Transfer to a small mason jar with a tight fitting lid and use as needed.