Author Notes: Mexican food is one of my great loves and this recipe is my attempt to replicate a similar dish served me at Boston's Sol Azteca restaurant many years ago. A thick tomato sauce is 'kicked up many notches' with the addition of pureed chipotles and orange. Ground toasted almonds add their own valued texture and nuttiness and the rich butteriness of the avocado complements the bright acidic notes of the sauce. - LE BEC FIN
- 1 tablespoon canola oil or bacon fat
- 2 ounces shallot or yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine; optional
- 3 cups medium thick marinara sauce, preferably homemade and without sugar or herbs
- 1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1/4 cup (+ 1-2 tablespoons) Pureed Chipotles*
- 1/2 cup whole skin-on almonds, toasted and ground medium in a food processor
- In a saucepan over medium high heat, saute shallot/onion in hot fat/oil until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.Add marinara sauce through almonds, blend well. Taste and add orange and/or chipotle as needed. Bring to simmer and cook 10-20 minutes to blend flavors. Keep warm on very low heat, covered. (If sauce becomes too thick, thin with a ittle water.)
Cook scallops and serve
- canola oil
- 1 1/2 pound sea scallops, rinsed, drained and patted dry
- 1 ripe Haas avocado,pit removed and flesh cubed**
- 4 cups cooked basmati rice, white or brown, kept hot(the nuttiness of basmati rice is the best match for this dish)
- Corn tortilla chips
- In a non-stick skillet, heat a very thin coat of oil until very hot but not smoking; add scallops and sear briefly until browned.Do not crowd pan. With tongs, turn over scallops and cook another 1 or 2 minutes, til browned and just cooked through. Cook more batches as needed.
- On each plate, mound a cup of rice. Flatten the mound and spoon 1/2- 1 cup of sauce on top of rice. Top sauce with scallops. Garnish with avocado and serve with corn tortilla chips on the side.
- * Check the chipotles when you open the can. Some brands are filled with seeds which should be discarded before pureeing. Puree chipotles and their sauce together. This puree freezes very well and can be easily scraped (w/o defrosting) for quick use. My preferred brand is San Marcos in red, white and blue can. ------------------------------------------------ **Working with avocadoes can be very messy, but my technique is very easy and neat. Halve an avocado lengthwise and remove the pit. Hold one avocado half in the palm of your hand and with a paring knife, slice parallel lines lengthwise, about 1/2 inch apart, cutting down through the flesh just until you touch the avocado skin. Now cut crosswise lines the same way. With a soup spoon placed right under the skin, scoop out the flesh (already in cubes!). Repeat with second half. This can be done an hour or so before use, without the avocado turning dark.