Scallop Tostadas with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

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The Alaska from Scratch CookbookScallops are quite possibly my favorite seafood. If I go to a restaurant and there’s a scallop special on offer, I can’t help but order it. They’re plump and mild, slightly sweet, with just a hint of the briny sea. They’re fun to work with in the kitchen, too. They cook very quickly and take well to many different flavors and preparations. The trick to getting a good sear on the outside of the scallop is to pat them dry before cooking them in a very hot pan. Don’t cook them too long; otherwise, they go from delightfully tender to annoyingly chewy. Scallops are also outstanding served raw and thinly sliced in a citrusy crudo. For raw preparations especially, be sure to ask for “dry” scallops, which are the freshest option with the purest scallop flavor.

  • Yield: 4


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Salt
For the Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream
  • 1 cup corn
  • ¼ cup finely chopped poblano chile pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • half a lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt
For the Scallops and Serving
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 12 large Alaska scallops, patted dry
  • Salt
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
How to Make It
  1. In a small skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Fry the corn tortillas on both sides until golden brown and crisp. Transfer the tortillas to a plated lined with paper towels to drain. Season with salt to taste and keep warm.
  2. To Make the Corn Salsa
  3. In a bowl, stir together the corn, poblano pepper, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and sugar. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble tostadas.
  4. To Make the Chipotle Crema
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, adobo sauce, lime juice, and garlic powder until smooth. Season generously with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. To Make the Scallops
  7. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Stir the adobo sauce into the oil. Season the scallops with salt to taste and add them to the hot pan. Sear the scallops for 3 minutes, or until browned and caramelized on the bottom. Turn and sear on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes (depending on the size of your scallops). Be careful not to overcook the scallops. Transfer the scallops to a plate.
  8. To assemble the tostadas, Top each crisp tortilla with a heaping spoonful of corn salsa. Place 3 seared scallops on top of each tostada, followed by avocado slices. Drizzle with chipotle crema. Serve promptly with lime wedges on the side.

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