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Garam Masala Scallops Over Acorn Squash

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Ingredients

1 large (1 1/2- to 2-lb) acorn squash

3/4 lb sea scallops, tough muscle removed from sides if necessary

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chile

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup water

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

Garnish: very thin slices of jalapeño chile, chopped fresh cilantro, and ground Aleppo pepper or cayenne

Prepare squash:

Step 2

Halve squash lengthwise, reserving 1 half for another use. Halve remaining squash piece diagonally crosswise and season with salt. Arrange wedges, cut sides up, in a small roasting pan filled with 1/2 inch water. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour.

Prepare scallops after squash has been roasting 30 minutes:

Step 3

Pat scallops dry and season with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown scallops on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total (scallops will be almost cooked through). Remove from heat. Add turmeric and toss until scallops are yellow, then transfer to a bowl.

Step 4

Cook jalapeño, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add water and simmer until water is evaporated and chile mixture is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cream and garam masala and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.

Step 5

When squash is tender, add remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice and scallops with any liquid that has accumulated in bowl to sauce and simmer until scallops are just cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Step 6

Put a squash wedge on each of 2 plates and spoon scallops and sauce over squash.

Cooks’ Note

• Squash may be roasted 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat, covered, in a microwave about 5 minutes.
• For a fuller, more caramelized squash flavor (but a more rustic presentation due to browning), roast squash uncovered, cut sides down, and substitute 2 tablespoons butter for water in pan.
• Scallops and sauce may be prepared separately 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered.

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