Tuesday, February 16, 2010

cumin seared scallops with tomatillo guacamole & mango

When I asked Robby what he would like me to make for his special Valentines Day dinner, I was surprised when he said, "scallops!" Then he proceeded to request that we try a Mexican twist on a seafood dish that I usually like to pair with pasta and a simple sauce made with lots of butter. I gladly took on the challenge and started brainstorming. Robby is obsessed with tomatillos, so I knew that needed to be included in the recipe, and I've had a thing for mango lately, so I plugged those in as well. Basically when Sunday came, I had no idea what I was going to do, but I had bought a plethera of ingredients that I was sure would come together somehow.

As I stared at the ingredients on my kitchen counter, I started formulating a plan. I decided that I would make a tomatillo guacamole. I assumed that the liquid in the tomatillos would thin the guac out a little bit, making it a bit more sauce like. It came together so quickly in my food processor and exceeded all sorts of expectations. SO delicious. I also started making a cilantro lime rice, and diced up some mango with grape tomatoes, lime, and cilantro to garnish the dish with. Slowly all of the elements came together, and all that was left to do was assemble and sear the scallops.To pull off this flavor profile, I seasoned the scallops with a little bit of cumin and kosher salt. I melted a little bit of butter in a saute pan and we were off and running. All it took was 2-4 minutes on each side for these scallops to be absolutely perfect. I assembled the dish by toasting the corn tortillas over an open flame, spreading a bit of the tomatillo guac in between two corn tortillas, topping with the lime cilantro rice, adding the scallops on top, and for the final touch, the mango salsa. It was an unconventional way to put together dinner, but it was actually a lot of fun and the dish didn't disappoint. It's also been great to have leftover tomatillo guac to use on quesadillas and enchiladas (planned for later this week). Here is my best attempt at writing such a scattered recipe:

Tomatillo Guacamole
Yield: 4-6 servings (this will make way more than you need for this recipe, but you'll enjoy the leftovers)

6-8 tomatillos, husked and coarsely chopped (about 1/2 lb.)
1 avocado, pitted and diced
1/2 jalapeno, coarsely chopped with seeds
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 lime, juiced
3/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in food processor (or blender) and pulse or blend until ingredients are combined.

Lime Cilantro Rice
Yield: 2 servings

1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup rice
1 lime, juiced
5 sprigs cilantro

Bring broth, rice, lime juice, and cilantro to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove cilantro and serve.

Cumin Seared Scallops
Yield: 2-4 servings

8 large scallops
1-2 tablespoons butter

Remove all moisture from the scallops by patting dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with cumin and salt. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Allow skillet to get as hot as possible without burning the butter. (you could substitute olive oil) Add the scallops to the hot pan, sear each side of the scallops for 2-4 minutes depending on the size. Cook the scallops until they are no longer opaque and appear white throughout the center.


Kimber said...

Mmm... I am always so impressed and inspired when I read your blog! I'm definitely going to try that guac recipe!

Lauren said...

That looks so good. I love the guacamole recipe.

A Roper said...

I have been trying lots of enchilada recipes lately and cannot find a good one. I'm not a fan of sweet enchiladas, do you have any good recipes for enchiladas? Thanks!

robyn said...

i just think you are so wonderful!

Kathryn said...

I love, love scallops, & guacamole should be considered my favorite food group. I need to try this, but I'm always SO intimidated cooking seafood (so I never do & just always order it at restaurants). There is nothing worse than rubbery scallops.... are they as easy as this seems?? Really?? Tell me I can do it! :)

MB said...

OH.MY. that sounds divine.

jenna said...

mmmm this is going to go over REALLY WELL in our house.

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