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Scallops and Jollof Rice Noodles

By Micheal Twitty, James Beard award-winning author of, The Cooking Gene
Serves 4

West Africa rub ingredients:

1-inch piece of roughly chopped fresh turmeric or 2 teaspoons of powdered turmeric
1/2 bunch roughly chopped flat leaf or curly parsley
2 stalks roughly chopped celery stalks, leaves and all
3 sliced green onions
7 cloves smashed fresh garlic
2 roughly chopped fresh shallots
1 small sliced red onion
1-inch piece of roughly chopped ginger
1 small Scotch Bonnet pepper (spicy), or 1 medium chopped up red bell pepper stem removed (not spicy)
1 crushed small Maggi cube (you should be able to find Maggi cubes at an international or African Market)
1 Tbsp of canola oil

Jollof Rice Noodle ingredients:

½ to 1 pound of dry scallops, seared
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion diced
1 recipe of West African wet rub or seasoning
½ tsp black pepper or kitchen pepper
½ tsp seasoned salt or Jollof Rice seasoning
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1½ cups vegetable or chicken stock or Maggi cube stock
1 seeded green chili or a ½-1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, for added heat
Scallions, slice for presentation and flavor
One box of prepared Thai rice noodles

Rub directions

  1. Add all wet rub ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is fully pureed. Scrape down sides, and process again. Repeat until it is more or less smooth.
  2. Pro Tip: You can prepare in large batches and freeze them in ice cube trays. After the ice cubes of rub are frozen, remove the cubes from the trays and store in snack bags for easy and convenient use later.

Scallop directions

  1. Add scallops to a skillet with oil and sear them until brown on each side and opaque through the middle, 1-2 minutes per side. 
  2. Remove seared scallops from skillet and set aside.

Jollof rice noodle directions

  1. Prepare the rice noodles as directed on the box. 
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. 
  3. Add the wet seasoning and tomato paste and cook over moderate heat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, not letting it burn. 
  4. Add the stock to the pan with the chili pepper, black or kitchen pepper, and seasoned salt, stir well, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. When the sauce has come to the consistency of a slightly thin pasta sauce, add drained rice noodles and mix until well covered and warmed throughout.  
  6. Add seared scallops, toss, and garnish with sliced scallions.

Read Michael's blog, here.