Sofrito Scallops with Saffron Rice
Versatile tomato-based sauce called sofrito is the soul of Latin American and Caribbean food. In this Cuban-inspired dish, bay scallops are tossed in the hot sofrito and then served with saffron-infused rice.
Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil and the saffron in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until the saffron is sizzling. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add 3 cups water and 1-1/2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute; reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, stir once, cover, and cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the oregano, cumin, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato sauce and cup water; bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the ketchup and season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the rice is ready, add the scallops to the hot sofrito and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rice to a large platter and top with the scallop mixture. Season to taste with lemon juice, and serve immediately.