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In the Kitchen with Vital Choice

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Seared Alaska Scallops with Romesco on Chips; Correction to Sockeye Salmon Rice Pilaf

First things first...we apologize for an error in the recipe in our last issue (Sockeye Salmon Rice Pilaf with Peas and Mint). The fifth line in the instructions should read, “Stir in rice, cumin, cayenne and turmeric.” (We changed the spice ingredients but failed to reflect that change in the instructions.)

As to today's recipe, a little bit of potato chip won't hurt any one if enjoyed once a while, and they work wonderfully well in this odd-sounding but delicious recipe from Sunset magazine.

We prefer colorful, healthful root veggie chips such as Terra brand, but potato is good if they're tasty thick-cut potato chips; just pick out the flattest chips in the bag to use.

This recipe makes more romesco than you'll need for the scallops (less is hard to make). The leftover sauce would be great with our Alaska Halibut.

Seared Alaska Scallops with Romesco on Chips

Prep time 1 hour
Serves 8

1/4 cup almonds
12 oz of firm-ripe Roma tomatoes, cored
1 thick slice (1 oz) firm-textured French bread, toasted
1/2 cup drained canned roasted red peppers
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons organic cayenne to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled
About 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pounds Alaska Weathervane Scallops (about 40)
Organic black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Thick-cut or baked potato or root vegetable chips

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Put almonds and tomatoes in separate baking pans. Bake almonds until slightly darker, 8‒10 minutes, and tomatoes until skins begin to split and shrivel, 15‒18 minutes.

  • Pour almonds into the bowl of a food processor. Tear bread into chunks and add to bowl. Whirl until finely ground.

  • Cut tomatoes in half and add to processor, along with roasted red peppers, parsley, vinegar, cayenne, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whirl until mixture is smooth. With motor running, slowly pour in 1/4 cup olive oil and whirl until incorporated. Taste, and add more salt if desired. Scrape romesco into a bowl.

  • Rinse scallops and gently pat dry. Sprinkle lightly all over with salt and pepper. In a 10‒12 inch frying pan over medium-high heat, melt butter with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add scallops and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and opaque but still moist-looking in the center (cut one to test), about 8 minutes total; keep heat high enough to evaporate juices released from scallops.

  • Arrange as many potato chips as you have scallops on a platter, unless two will fit comfortably on a chip. Top each with a scallop (or two), then a dollop of romesco. Serve immediately.

Nutrients per appetizer (9 servings): 231 calories, 12.5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 49% calories from fat, 28 mg cholesterol, 15 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 401 mg sodium, 39 mg calcium, and .2 g omega-3 fatty acids.

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