The combination of rich sea scallops with sweet and tangy cherries is exceptionally satisfying. Scallops are at their best and most tender with short cooking at very high heat; make sure to have the scallops as dry as possible and your pan so hot that the oil is shimmering--but not smoking--before you add the scallops.
1/2 pound cherries (about 2 cups), pitted and quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat until very hot. Add oil and heat until very hot, but not smoking. Add half the scallops and sear, turning once, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to a platter and cook remaining scallops; cover and keep warm.
Lower heat to medium and add shallots to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and cherries. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until cherries are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tarragon, then pour cherry sauce over scallops.
Per Serving:200 calories (35 from fat), 4g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 45mg cholesterol, 460mg sodium, 17g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fiber, 8g sugar), 24g protein.
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