A quick, easy weeknight one-pan meal with a Mexican vibe, Mexican Scallops with Chorizo and Beer gets its bold flavor from lean Mexican chorizo, and requires only about 30 minutes… Don’t relegate this dish to weeknights, though. It is definitely worthy of a dinner party or date night!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – Mexican Scallops Inspiration
If you have followed Beyond Mere Sustenance, you’re probably aware I’m a border girl (U.S. and Mexico), and have a love affair with Mexican cuisine… I am not talking about fat-laden, gooey enchiladas and fried chile rellenos (though they are delicious!).
I am talking about mole, seafood, fresh and dried chiles, slow-cooked pork, nopalitos, tropical fruit, tequila and mezcal, and so much more. Never one to attempt to recreate abuelita’s family recipe, I use my knowledge of the Mexican kitchen and ubiquitous ingredients to create new recipes with a distinct Mexican flair.
Mexican Scallops with Beer and Chorizo is a very simple and weeknight-friendly dish. It gets its fantastic Mexican flavor from lean Mexican chorizo. Chorizo is one of my “pantry” ingredients kept in the refrigerator for us an ounce or two at a time. It’s all about the flavor!
♨️ How to Make a Perfectly Seared Scallop
A “perfectly seared scallop” may be a challenge for many home cooks. The key to getting a good sear lies in starting with a dry scallop. Unfortunately, most U.S. markets sell “wet” scallops that have been treated with phosphates to preserve shelf life. The phosphates cause the scallops to absorb water, and may give them a bit of an off-taste.
If you’ve purchased “wet” scallops, it helps to soak them in a mixture of 1 quart cold water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons table salt for 30 minutes. If you’ve purchased “dry” scallops, skip the brine.
Rinse and drain the scallops, and place atop several layers of paper towels or a clean, dry towel. Top with several more layers of paper towels. Gently press to remove moisture.
Salt and pepper the scallops on both sides, and they’re ready for your smoking hot pan 🙂 I find my cast iron skillet gives great results; stainless steel is another good option. Use a very thin layer of oil!
🎥 Mexican Scallops Video
📋 Ingredients Notes
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- lean chorizo – I have a recipe for lean chorizo, but you can use store-bought as well. Look for bulk chorizo in a tray rather than in a tube. It’s usually leaner.
- tiny tomatoes
- corn – You can use fresh off the cob or frozen.
- squash – Use a summer variety like Mexican grey squash, zucchini, or yellow squash.
- ground cumin
- beer – If you’d rather not cook with beer, use broth or stock instead.
- scallops – See section above for tips on searing scallops!
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
- Cook and crumble the chorizo – Over medium-high heat, sauté the chorizo. I like this meat masher. I discovered it after I took these photos.
- Add tomatoes. Sauté until they begin to burst, stirring occasionally.
- Add chopped onion. Sauté until onion begins to look transparent and mixture is fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add ground cumin. Give it all a good stir.
- Add zucchini and corn. Stir to combine.
- Add the beer or broth.
- Sear the scallops – While the chorizo and vegetables simmer, sear the scallops. Use a heavy-bottomed pan (like this cast iron), and a little bit of oil. Get the pan really hot. Add scallops. Leave them alone until they’re likely browned. Test the edge of one; it should release. Flip, and cook another minute on the other side. Serve browned side up.
- To serve – Divide the vegetable and beer mixture between 2 shallow bowls. Top with half the seared scallops. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Do I have to use beer?
What kind of beer is best?
What constitutes “lean chorizo?”
🍷 Pairing Suggestions
You can go with a beer or with wine with this dish. I find sauvignon blanc is always a good pairing with seafood, and it works with this scallop recipe. Any light, crisp, dry white or rosé will be tasty!
Craft beer lovers will appreciate a hazy, citrus-forward IPA or a summer saison IMHO. Of course, if you have a favorite Mexican beer, go for it!
Summer is always upon us in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. We find this dish tastes good year ’round.
Mexican Scallops with Chorizo and Beer
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- 2 ounces lean chorizo
- 1 cup tiny tomatoes
- ½ cup onion - chopped
- 1 cup corn - (about 2 ears)
- 1 summer squash - zucchini, Mexican grey, crookneck, yellow, cubed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup beer - see Tips or broth/stock
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- 8 large sea scallops - about 12 ounces
- Over medium-high heat, sauté the chorizo. Add tomatoes. Sauté until they begin to burst. Add chopped onion. Sauté until onion begins to look transparent and mixture is fragrant. Add ground cumin. Give it all a good stir. Add squash. Stir to combine. Add corn. Stir to combine.
- Add beer. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender (not mushy!) – about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper!
- Prepare the scallops. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan over fairly high heat. Do NOT crowd the pan! Turn when well-caramelized and cook the other side. Set aside.
- Divide the vegetable and beer mixture between 2 shallow bowls. Top with half the seared scallops. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.