May 2, 2011

Spicy Scallops with Cool Green Chile Sauce and Brussel Sprouts

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As we've written before, grilling is one of our favorite things to do. But, since moving to New York City we had to give up our outdoor grill. This presents a bit of a conundrum, but over the last few months, we've started to figure out how we can use a cast iron grill pan to have similar results.

I am on the hunt, for scallops!
This spicy scallop dish is a great example of something that is great on the grill, but can be done indoors with a grill pan even more easily. Since the scallops are small and thin, they can be cooked through entirely while on the grill pan, giving them beautiful looking grill marks, locking in the flavor. It's actually easier than firing up a grill because it takes much less time, for the same effect!

We complemented these spicy scallops with a cool green chile sauce, and a side of roasted brussel sprouts.

Making the Dish

What You'll Need
poblano chiles
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
garlic clove
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 - 10 large scallops

Start off by prepping the scallops with the spicy rub. Combine your chile powder, paprika, salt, cumin, oregano, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl and stir everything together until it's well mixed. Rinse off your scallops under cool water and remove the small tough muscle if it is still there. Pat dry and throw into a bowl.

Rinsed fresh scallops. 

Coat with a touch of olive oil, and then throw in the rub. Rub the spic mix into the scallops and make sure the scallops are entirely coated, then let rest while you get the rest of the dish ready.

Scallops rubbed with the spicy rub.

Before moving on to your next step, you'll need to roast your poblano peppers. Place them onto a broiling pan and place under the broiler. Let them broil for about 7 minutes on one side, and then turn over. The skin should be charred on both sides. When done, remove from heat and place in a bowl, covering with foil, until they cool.

Charred poblano peppers. 

Next thing you should do is get your brussel sprouts ready. These are a nice compliment to this dish, since they're savory but not too spicy, they contrast well with the heat of the scallops.

Blanching the brussel sprouts. 

Slice the brussel sprouts in half vertically. Throw them into a pot of boiling water and cook for just under two minutes to blanch them. Remove them from the boiling water and put them right into an ice bath (or run under cold water) to stop the cooking. This blanching step helps the brussel sprouts to maintain their bright green color.

Seasoning the brussel sprouts. 

In a mixing bowl, coat the brussel sprouts with olive oil and add in some sea salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder. Spread them all over a baking dish and place in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until soft and somewhat caramelized.

Roasting the brussel sprouts. 

Lastly, prepare you green chile sauce. Remove the charred skin from the poblano peppers, remove the stem, and the seeds, and chop coarsely. Add the poblano to a food processor. Remove the roots from the scallions and add add those to the food processor as well, with the cilantro, and garlic clove. Zest a lime into the processor, and then squeeze in the juice.

The remaining cool sauce ingredients.

Pulse briefly until a nice paste has formed. Then add in your mayo and sour cream and pulse  again until a nie creamy sauce as formed.

Pulsing everything together in the food processor. 

Finally, heat up your grill pan until it's nice and hot. Place your scallops right on and let them sear for about 3 - 4 minutes. Turn over, and cook for about 3 - 4 minutes on the other side as well. You'll want to make sure not to overcook the scallops or they'll be tough and chewy. The scallops should be opaque all the way through when done.

Searing the scallops on the grill pan. 

The Result
Lay down a bed of the cool green chile sauce and place the scallops on top and brussel sprouts on the side. Dip your scallops into the sauce as you eat so the heat from the scallops is nicely balanced by the coolness of the creamy sauce. The sauce is also a great dip for the brussel sprouts!

This is a really nice dish, the scallops look great with their grill marks and taste great with the spicy rub. The sauce balances the scallops wonderfully. If you like scallops, you'll really like this plate.

What's your favorite seafood recipe? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. If only I could cook like you..........

    If only I could blog like you.........

    If only I could...........


  2. I didn't know you liked brussel sprouts!?! I love them, too, but never thought to cook them this way! I'll have to give it a try along with how you prepared the scallops - yum!

  3. I have an outdoor grill, but I still think I use the grill pan more often! This meal sounds delicious!

  4. This, I will make. YUM.
    Scallops are the ultimate seafood experience, and this makes them look even better. I love brussel sprouts aswell. Dream team combo!

  5. Made this last night and it was SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS! Have a ton of sauce left over and am definitely contemplating making this again or using the spice rub on shrimp.
    Thanks for a great recipe!


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