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This fresh dish gives scallops a Mexican spin

April 04, 2012|Scott Anderson | Culinary Passion

In keeping with the theme of fresh seafood, flavorful dishes and being frugal, I thought another fresh seafood dish would be perfect.

To me, another fresh seafood I simply love to use is scallops. You can buy them fresh or frozen, depending upon your location, and cook them up in a variety of different ways. 

Sticking with my Mexican theme, I am presenting a dish served on top of brown rice. 

You can eliminate the rice and serve the scallops as a side dish or add in fire-roasted corn and make a really nice entrée.

I don't think you need to go with Spanish or another flavored rice because the strong flavors will overpower this dish.

Stick with a basic rice and side to complement the scallops.


— Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.



Chef's Mexican Scallops


3 cups cooked brown rice

3 tablespoons clarified butter

3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 1/2 pounds scallops

1 bunch scallions sliced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 Serrano chili, seeded and small dice (you can substitute your favorite chili pepper)

Juice of 1 lemon

Freshly ground salt and pepper

Lime wedges, garnish

Fresh salsa — served on the side


Prepare brown rice according to directions on the box.

In a cast iron skillet heat half the oil and butter until it begins to shimmer.

Add in the scallops and sauté quickly until they begin to be opaque. If you cook them too long they will begin to break apart and get rubbery. Remove from the skillet and set aside and cover to keep warm.

If needed, add in remaining oil, bring back up to temperature and toss in scallions, garlic and smoked paprika. Sauté for 1 minute then return the scallops back to the skillet, then remove from heat, add in the cilantro, chili pepper and lemon juice. Stir together; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on brown rice with a side of fresh salsa. Enjoy.

Serves 6.

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