I’ve been wanting to try out this recipe ever since I flipped through the pages of a cookbook called “Roux To Do”. It’s a Junior League cookbook from Southeast Louisiana and I’ve found so many recipes that sound downright delicious. I’m a huge fan of Louisiana cuisine with it’s Cajun and Creole influences and this recipe struck me as something different . . . something that I’ve never tried before but I definitely wanted to taste. The scallops were fantastic with the perfect spice blend. I was surprised at the taste of the aioli, it was much milder in flavor than I had expected but it really did compliment the scallops. A fresh citrusy pineapple salsa on the side was just the thing to pull it all together.
I needed a roasted jalapeno for the aioli and found an easy way to do it. I used a skewer to rotate the jalapeno over the open flame of my gas burner. When you have just one chile, it makes for quick work.
Time to put the spice blend together. The recipe calls for chili powder but I don’t do commercial chili powder. Once I found Paul Prudhomme’s method for picking the right dried chiles and blending with other spices I make my own chili powder. I chose to grind Ancho chiles and NM Red chiles, add some garlic powder, paprika, green chile sea salt and lime zest. *Any sea salt will do, but the flavored sea salts will taste fantastic here.
Coffee grinders are perfect for grinding spices and chiles. Just remember that once you use them for spices, they shouldn’t be used for coffee beans, unless you want an extra kick in your morning cup.
Drizzle some aioli on a plate and place scallops over top. Serve with pineapple salsa.
Chile Crusted Sea Scallops with Roasted Jalapeno and Corn Aioli (adapted from “Roux To Do, The Art of Cooking in Southeast Louisiana”)
Chile Crusted Sea Scallops
2 teaspoons Ancho Chile, ground
2 teaspoons NM Red Chile, ground
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Sea Salt (I used Green Chile Sea Salt)
Zest of 1/2 lime
24 Sea Scallops
Olive Oil (I used Persian Lime flavored olive oil)
Roasted Jalapeno and Corn Aioli
1 ear Corn, roasted and cut from cob
1 Jalapeno Chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons Honey
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1 Egg Yolk
2/3 – 1 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
To make aioli, grill the corn and jalapeno over an open flame. Place the chile in a plastic bag and steam for 20 minutes. Peel jalapeno under running water, seed and chop. Cut the corn from the cob. Process the corn, jalapeno chile, lime juice, honey, and egg yolk until pureed. Add the olive oil in a fine stream processing constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.
In a small bowl combine Ancho chile, NM Red Chile, paprika, garlic powder, sea salt and lime zest. Dust sea scallops in the seasoning and place 6 to a skewer. Drizzle with olive oil. Place on a hot grill and grill 2 – 3 minutes on each side.
To serve, drizzle the aioli on a plate and place scallops over top. Serve with pineapple salsa.