Tomato Aspic with Seared Scallops and Shrimp

Time: 4 hours (approx )
Effort: Medium

Tomato Aspic:
2 large very ripe tomatoes, pureed and pulp strained
1 3/4 cups tomato juice
2 1/2 cups vegetable cocktail or Clamato juice
3 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro or parsley
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil 

12 medium to large sea scallops, raw
12 medium to large shrimp, pre-cooked 
1 tbsp olive oil plus another 2 tbsp
1 tbsp each lemon juice, balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Slices of lemon for decoration
Mayonnaise (optional)

Take 4-6 ramekins and brush lightly with olive oil, setting them aside. In a medium saucepan add the 1 3/4 cups tomato juice and the juice from the fresh tomatoes that were pureed and bring to a boil. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup vegetable cocktail and the gelatin, stir well and let sit for a few minutes until gelatin is softened. In a large bowl, add the remaining vegetable cocktail, cilantro, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to taste and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the gelatin mixture, mix well then add to the pot with the tomato juice. Gently boil until all the gelatin has dissolved. Pour into the ramekins and refrigerate until firm (approx. 4 hours). (You can make this recipe the day before if you want).

In a medium skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil until very hot. Add a few scallops and sear on all sides so that they are browned. Careful not to over cook ! Continue with the remaining scallops. Place them in a shallow dish with the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To unmold the tomato aspic: Run a sharp knife along the sides of the ramekin, then run hot water on the bottom or place on a hot towel for a minute or two to loosen. Flip onto a plate and serve with scallops, shrimp a slice of lemon and some mayonnaise. (I used plain cooked shrimp, but you can saute them with the scallops if you wish).