Preparation / Directions:
To make sauce, in a medium saucepan, stir together vermouth or wine, chicken broth and lime juice. Cook over moderate heat until reduced to about half, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir cornstarch into cream and whisk into sauce. Return to heat and cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for 1 minute.
Place flour in a shallow dish. Add scallops, toss to coat and pat off excess.
In a large skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until very hot and almost smoking. Test heat by adding one scallop; the oil should bubble furiously and the bottom brown in 1 minute. Saute scallops in batches without crowding until golden, about 1 minute per side, adding 1 tablespoon oil, if needed. (If heat is not hot enough, juices will come out of scallops before they brown. Remove them from heat anyway). Remove to plate and set aside.
In same skillet over moderate heat, heat remaining tablespoon oil. Add carrots and saute, stirring, for one minute, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add zucchini and garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender. Add spinach and cook just until wilted.
Stir scallops and sauce into vegetables. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: About 10 minutes Makes: 4 servings The secret to obtaining golden-crusted scallops with a soft and juicy interior is to sear them quickly over very high heat. Be sure to heat the skillet until it's almost smoking before adding the scallop