Spicy Southwestern Scallops

I love food.  I love everything about it; shopping for it, cooking it, and especially eating it.  I like most anything, and I am always up for trying new things and experimenting, both with what I cook and what I eat, and how I prepare my foods.  There is a big difference between liking something and loving something though.  Scallops AND most things Southwestern are two types of foods I just absolutely LOVE.  This dish satisfies both of these desires.  In Spanish, scallops are known as vieiras.  Aside from the fact that scallops have always been amongst my favorites, they are actually very healthy for you too.  They are high in protein and low in calories and are a great source for magnesium and potassium, as well as a whole bunch of other necessary vitamins and minerals.  They are also an excellent heart healthy food because they contain a lot of vitamin B12.  Vitamin B12 helps keep the body’s homocysteine levels low, which in turn helps to keep our heart, arteries and blood vessels all healthy.  Statistics have shown that eating seafood, and particularly scallops, at least once a week will lower your heart rate by 2.3 times per minute.  When you think about how many times our heart beats throughout the day, that is a substantial reduction.   For the most part, a lower heart rate means a healthy heart.

Scallops of many varieties are found in the oceans all over the world.  They are in the mollusk family, and are known as bi-valves.  The edible part is the muscle in the center of the two shells that opens and closes the shell.  This is known as the “nut”.  The “coral” or the reproductive glands are also edible, and are eaten in most other parts of the world, although they are not as popular to eat in North America.

Spicy Southwestern Scallops served over Arroz Cubano (tomorrow’s post).


Making the spicy rub for the scallops.


Coat the scallops completely with the spicy rub.


In a very hot skillet, with very hot oil mixed with butter, pan-fry your scallops about 3 minutes per side.  You want them completely cooked and firm, yet still sweet and juicy without becoming tough or rubbery.


Once the scallops are cooked, remove from the pan and set aside and keep warm.  Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine to the pan and stir it well to scrape off all the pan drippings.  Cook for a couple of minutes, then add more butter and bring to a boil.  Cook until the liquid has reduced by abut 1/2.  This is your sauce for your scallop dish.


The full meal:  Spicy Southwestern Scallops over Arroz Cubano, with avocado, served with pork and cherry chutney empanadas (both the Arroz Cubano and the pork and cherry chutney empanadas will be other upcoming posts in the very near future).   A margarita especial is always a good accompaniment to any meal, but because yesterday was “National Tequila Day”, I just had to have one.


Spicy Southwestern Scallops

1 1/2-2 lbs sea scallops

3 tsp chili-lime chili powder

1-1 1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper

4 TBSP butter

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup lime juice


Rinse scallops thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel.  Mix all the spices together.  Coat the scallops completely with the dry rub.  In a hot pan with a combination of both hot oil and 2 TBSP butter, add the scallops and cook for about 3 minutes per side.  When they are cooked, remove them from the heat and set aside.  Add the wine to the hot skillet and mix in all the pan drippings.  Add the rest of the butter and bring to a boil.  Then cook down until the liquid is reduced by half.   i served mine over Arroz Cubano and added more sauce, topping each scallop.  I also added avocado slices on top.  Esta mui, mui delicioso!  Disfruitas!









Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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