This recipe for scallops and charred vegetables with huitlacoche is easy to make and has a lot of interesting flavors thanks to our huitlacoche sauce.
For this recipe, we prepare a simple huitlacoche sauce. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’m a BIG corn smut fan. The flavors of huitlacoche are sweet and earthy, making it a perfect accompaniment to the mild sweetness of scallops and charred flavors of the vegetables.
To prepare the hutlacoche sauce, I sauté onions and garlic with a few spices – dry epazote, Mexican oregano, and crumbled cumin seeds and then add huitlacoche and simmer for just about 15 minutes until very fragrant. I thinned it out with just a touch of water and then puréed it with an immersion blender.
It really is a simple, unique dinner option and perfect for some lighter eating after the holidays!
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Scallops and Charred Vegetables with Huitlacoche
- Small saucepan
- 12 ounces dry sea scallops side muscle removed
- 3 bell peppers trimmed, deseeded, and sliced into rounds
- ½ yellow onion peeled and sliced into thin wedges
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil as needed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ yellow onion peeled and minced
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 6 ounces huitlacoche canned
- 1 teaspoon dry epazote crumbled (or omit if you can't find it)
- 1 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano crumbled
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds lightly crushed
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ cup water optional
- Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
- 1 cup Fresh mixed baby greens
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Flaky sea salt
- 2 scallions trimmed and minced
Prepare the Huitlacoche Sauce:
- Melt the butter into a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted and frothy add the minced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes until golden brown and very soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
- Add the huitlacoche and stir to combine. Season with epazote, oregano, cumin, lemon juice, and salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, stir in the water and taste and season to your preferences. Purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
Char the Vegetables:
- Turn the broiler on. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the onion and peppers and cook without moving for 2-3 minutes until the onions begin to char around the edges.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and season everything with salt and pepper. Add another drizzle of oil on top of the tomatoes and transfer to the broiler for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are all soft and the cherry tomatoes begin to blister and char. Return the skillet to the stove and transfer the vegetables to a bowl and keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan.
Sear the Scallops:
- Pat the scallops dry sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In the skillet, heat another drizzle of oil over high heat until very hot and shimmering.
- Add the scallops in an even layer and cook without moving until very well-seared and dark brown. Flip and cook until the scallops are opaque and cooked through, but not overcooked. Total cooking time will be about 3 minutes, with most of the cooking time happening on the first side of the scallops.
- Transfer the cooked scallops to a plate.
- Dress the greens with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon a tablespoon or two of the huitlacoche sauce on both plates and use the back of your spoon to spread it around half the plate. Arrange the greens next to the sauce on both plates and pile the charred vegetables on top. Arrange the cooked scallops on top and serve immediately. Enjoy!