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adapted from "The Spice Companion", by Lior Lev Sercarz
3/4 pound large dry scallops (4 to 6 per person, ask your fishmonger for dry scallops)
1 teaspoon Penja blend, or for a simpler version just 1 teaspoon of ground Penja pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 seedless mandarin oranges, halved
Pat scallops dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and the Penja blend (or just ground Penja pepper).
Heat oil over high heat in a large stainless or non-stick skillet until it just begins to smoke.
Gently add the scallops in a single layer, ensuring they aren't touching each other.
Sear until browned (1.5-2 minutes), then add the butter, flip the scallops using tongs or a spatula, tilt the pan slightly, and using a spoon baste the scallops with the butter/oil mixture until they are fully set (an additional 60-90 seconds). Do not overcook or they will be tough, err on the side of underdone. Remove cooked scallops to a warm plate.
Place the cut halves of the mandarins face-down in the pan and sear for 2-3 minutes or until lightly charred, remove to a plate and deglaze the pan with the juice of one of the halves.
Serve scallops with 2 mandarin halves on each plate, some of the pan sauce, and salt to taste.