12 sea scallops, patted dry and adductor muscle removed (always use dry-packed scallops)
12 rounds chorizo crust, chilled
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish
Preheat the oven to broil.
Set a large, ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Add enough grapeseed oil to form a thin layer on the bottom.
When the oil starts to shimmer the pan is ready. It is important that the pan is very hot – this will ensure that you can caramelize the scallops without them sticking or overcooking. Season scallops on both sides with salt. Place them in the pan, and sear without moving until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Make sure not to overload the pan with scallops.
Flip the scallops with tongs and spatula and sear on the other side for 2 minutes. Peel the chilled chorizo crust from the wax paper and place a round of crust on top of each scallop. Place pan in the oven. Broil until the crust is golden brown and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes. It is important to check your scallops frequently at this point. The high sugar content of the tomato paste in the crust will cause them to color quickly. Rotate them in the broiler every minute to achieve even coloring.
When the crust has turned golden brown, remove them from the broiler and insert a cake tester into the center of one. Pull it out and touch it to the inside of your wrist – if it feels warm, the scallops are done. If it feels cold still, set your oven to 300°F and place the scallops back inside for 2 to 3 more minutes or until the inside feels warm.
Gently remove scallops from the pan and place on an absorbent towel to remove any excess oil.
Transfer to the plate and season with fresh squeezed lemon juice prior to serving.