This is my favorite way to eat scallops or shrimp. The sauce freezes beautifully and makes repeated dinners a very quick prep! Mexican food is one of my great loves and this recipe is my replication of 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. —LeBec Fin
canola oil or bacon fat
shallot or yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine; optional
medium thick marinara sauce, preferably homemade and without sugar or herbs
frozen orange juice concentrate
(+ 1-2 tablespoons) Pureed Chipotles*
whole skin-on almonds, toasted and ground medium in a food processor
Cook scallops and serve
1 1/2 pounds
sea scallops, rinsed, drained and patted dry( or peeled 26-30 count shrimp)
ripe Haas avocado,pit removed and flesh cubed**
cooked basmati rice, white or brown, kept hot(the nuttiness of basmati rice is the best match for this dish)
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
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.
My eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, cardamom, and GARLIC! I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse review it and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.