Saturday, July 21, 2007

Seared Sea Scallops with Mango-Melon Salsa

I found this recipe this morning so I decided to make it tonight. We got the scallops at the ill-fated Bloom, and much to our chagrin (yet not to our surprise), the scallops turned out not to be great quality at all. We proceeded with the recipe, but it was just awful. The scallops were cooked perfectly (yay for us! we've never cooked them before!), but they just had a horrible fishy flavor. I'm positive scallops are not supposed to taste the way these did. We tossed the whole thing. We did eat some of the leftover salsa with chips though, because it was quite delicious. I would try this again, but obviously with higher quality seafood. This was definitely an error on my part, for not knowing that I was buying crappy scallops.

Seared Sea Scallops with Mango-melon Salsa
Posted on CLBB, originally posted on Jaden's Steamy Kitchen

Use as much chili powder as you want - I love the tingling sensation after the initial sweetness of the fruit. If you don’t care for spice, use a pinch of smoked paprika instead. Mint is so refreshing. Make sure you use fresh mint leaves, the dried flakes won’t do. You can substitute with fresh basil, parsley or cilantro. The Mango-Melon Salsa is also great with tortilla chips, as a topping to grilled chicken, to serve alongside your favorite fish or shrimp skewers.

20 large, dry-packed scallops, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated powder-fine with rasp grater

Mango-Melon Salsa
¾ cup finely diced mango (1 mango should do)
½ cup finely diced cantaloupe
¼ cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons finely minced mint leaves
big pinch of chili powder (or substitute smoked paprika)
½ lime, squeezed
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Assemble the salsa and set aside to let the flavors meld and mingle while you prepare the scallops.

2. Tap the top and bottom of each scallop gently on the parmesan cheese, shake excess off. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops. Make sure the scallops do not touch each other. Fry 2 minutes on each side, timing depends on size of your scallops. They should have a golden brown crust. If you take a peek in the interior, they should be rare-ish. They’ll finish cooking on their own from residual heat after you remove them from the pan. Overcooked scallops are a sin!

Yield: 4 servings

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