I hope where ever you are is sunny and transitioning into late spring beautifully. This dish is MADE for relaxing nights on the back porch. I was not able to enjoy the weather when this meal was eaten, due to the 40 MPH winds. I personally didn't think the flavor of my scallops would be enhanced by dust clouds. But, I'll stash it away for a nice night coming in the summer.
It might have some obscure ingredients, but don't shy away from this refreshing meal! It's a snap to clean up and takes in 30 minutes to prepare. Packed full of vegetables and lean protein, its healthy as well as appetizing. Easy sell in my book.
Seafood is slightly exotic here in the middle of the Texas Panhandle; there aren't too many options for quality scallops. I recently subscribed for a mail-in seafood box and love it. (Here is the one I use; oceanbox.com .) If you have the hankering to get your hands on fresh seafood and don't live close to a worthwhile provider, mail-in options are great! Scallops are a gorgeous seafood protein. When cooked correctly, they are a silky buttery morsel. *CAUTION!!!* If overcooked for a few extra minutes, scallops easily become a rubbery gritty mess. Bleeeeehh. Please don't over cook them!! You will loath me and your dinner. (Not productive for anyone.) I recommend using a cast iron skillet to sear the scallops. Cast iron holds heat exceptionally and will treat your scallop to evenly distributed heat. Helping prevent the sad outcome above.
When I brought home a jicama to make the salad, my sweet husband thought it was a rotten coconut. (I am giggling as I type. But to give him grace, its a strange looking vegetable.) Jicama is basically a Mexican turnip however, I enjoy it WAAAAAY more than its bitter purple cousin. It's starchy and slightly sweet, but its best attribute is a fabulous crunchy texture. Speaking of crunchy textures, radishes in my garden are quickly approaching harvest so I added some in to delicious success! Caramelized charred sweet corn and poblanos add sweet heat which balances the salad nicely. Covered in a Honey Lime Vinaigrette, it's a winner.
Seared Scallops and Charred Corn, Poblano, and Jicama Salad with a Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Yields 4 servings
Time to prepare is 30 mins
1 1/2 pounds of scallops
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 of a onion, sliced finely
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Charred Corn, Poblano, and Jicama Salad
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, sliced off the cob
1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil
3 large poblano peppers
1/2 of a jicama, diced into small pieces
5 radishes, diced into small pieces
1/2 of a purple onion, diced in small pieces
2 tablespoons of cilantro, minced
1 Hass avocado, sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Honey Lime Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of lime zest
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of fresh garlic, minced
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
1/2 a teaspoon of chili powder
Start preparing the salad first.
In a large cast iron skillet, add the oil and set the temperature to high. When the oil is shimmering, add the corn. Every minute or so, flip the corn until most kernels have at least one charred side. Remove from the pan and add to a large bowl.
On a gas stove or under a broiler, char the poblanos under or on high heat. Blacken all sides of the peppers. Dice into small pieces when cool enough to handle. Add to the bowl with the corn.
Add in the jicama, radishes, and cilantro. Toss throughly, saving the avocado and tomatoes for plating.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the Vinaigrette throughly. Pour it over the salad, toss it, then set it to the side.
In the same cast iron skillet that the corn was charred in, add the olive oil and butter for the scallop and begin to heat on high. When the skillet very hot, add the onion and garlic. Quickly push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet and add 1/2 of the scallops. Dust the tops of them with salt and smoked paprika. Flip them after 2 minutes. Sear the other side for another 1-2 minutes and immediately remove from them the pan. Repeat the process for the second batch of scallops.
Layer a serving dish with the salad on the bottom, followed by the tomatoes and avocado, and topping with the scallops. Spoon some of the onions and garlic from the skillet on top.